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AMG’s thundering C63S vs BMW’s brilliant M4

THE ANNUAL

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T H E

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2 0 1 6 2016 Shout-Outs

Contents 84 The power. The passion.

* Privacy notice can be found on page 9

40 44 54 64 74 106

Meeting Mr N We speak to Albert Biermann, head of Hyundai’s new N performance division, about his crazy new creations

Hot Pursuit

As turbos take over, the Audi TT RS and Porsche 718 Cayman battle it out for the title of best junior sports coupe

Civic Duty

Options, engines and everything in between – we shout out to the best of 2016

We get the scoop on Honda’s newest hot hatch – the 2017 Honda Civic Type R. It’s coming to Oz and it’ll be sub-$50K!

Leno’s Garage One of the world’s most famous petrolheads, Jay Leno shows us around his Aladdin’s cave of weird and wonderful autos

Muscle Definition

The battle between M Division and AMG has been see-sawing for decades – we line up their latest two-doors

Shock & Awe

Tesla’s ludicrous P90D takes on the Audi’s RS7 Performance for super sedan bragging rights

F I R S T FA N G S

Mercedes-AMG C43 Holden VF Senator BMW M240i Porsche Cayenne Turbo S Renault Megane GT


REGULARS

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Ed’s Letter

118 Geek Speak

125 Chart Attack

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The News

121 Cool Kit

127 Columns

22 The Vent

122 Garage

133 Hot Source

24 Sweet Dream

124 It’s Tempting

146 Final Nine

Turn the page and all will be revealed...

Hot new AMGs, powered-up Holdens and downsized Fords

Hit us with your best shot, we can take it

Saving the MINI’s reputation with a new Cooper GP

The 2017 WRC gets a turbo boost with new regulations

Burn a hole in your pocket with these goodies

Our Redline gets a workout in the back and on the track

A bargain BMW M3 and a C32 AMG make our mouths water

Who’s winning in the game of auto snakes and ladders?

Autonomous cars, concepts and Brocky – the full shebang

Figures, specs and prices, it’s an auto encyclopedia

Reminiscing about the best that never were


VALVOLINE SYNPOWER flows faster to all parts of the engine for the power man instinctively craves.


Ed’s note motormag.com.au motorofficial motor_mag Available on iPad and Zinio MANAGING EDITOR Ged Bulmer EDITOR Dylan Campbell ASSOCIATE EDITOR Scott Newman STAFF JOURNALIST Louis Cordony SUB-EDITORS Steve Kealy, Kieren Malone ART DIRECTOR Damien Pelletier GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Sean Farley, Andrew Marsic GUN DRIVERS Warren Luff STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Ellen Dewar, Nathan Jacobs DIGITAL DREAM TEAM Bonnie Jacks, Brendan Watts WRITERS Paul Cockburn, Daniel DeGasperi, Mark Fogarty, Tim Keen, David Morley, Phil McNamara, Tim Robson, James Whitbourn PHOTOGRAPHERS Cristian Brunelli, Robert Kerian, Alex Rae, Greg Pajo, Wilson Hennessy

Kieren Malone Likes: Word troughs, inappropriate use of ski goggles, test drives Dislikes: modest t-shirts, crude initiation rituals, bearing the brunt of fart... jokes

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Dylan Campbell We’re not sure Holden should be continuing the Commodore name on an imported car THIS MONTH we’ve been thinking about names in the MOTOR office (and not clever new things to call each other). With Holden divulging details on the “NG” first-imported Commodore, and our learning that the revered SS insignia will receive a four-gun salute and be laid to rest with the V8 models at the end of next year (see News, p14) we can’t help but wonder about Holden’s decision to continue the Commodore name on an imported car. We think we understand why Holden is doing it. In the difficult transition from manufacturer to importer, as dumb as it sounds, there’s a risk punters will stop showing up at Holden dealers because they think they’re not selling cars anymore. Plus, all the bad publicity about factories closing can have a deflating effect on consumer confidence. Will my warranty be safe? Will my car have decent resale? It might just be easier – safer – for the time-poor punter to shop elsewhere. And the problem is, there’s no shortage of other operators gunning for their business. Presumably, too, by continuing the Commodore nameplate – and models with equivalent specification and pricing – existing customers like fleet managers, are more likely to be retained. But by slapping the Commodore name on an imported car, the incumbent Holden management risks showing a lack of understanding of what the nameplate symbolises to a vast many Australians. It’s not being bombastic to say the Commodore has been a symbol of national pride for decades – what we can design, what we can build, tiny little Australia making a genuinely world-class car. It’s already a kick in the guts that the plants will be powering down and jobs lost to overseas. Holden hoping to continue trading off a sense of national pride on an imported car – all at a difficult time – is ballsy, bordering on audacious and at worst insensitive. It can’t be brushed under the rug as a sentiment shared amongst enthusiasts, either. We’re not just ambassadors for the brand but everybody over the age of 40 has a little soft spot and many precious Commodore memories. We can on hope they know what they’re doing.

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The News Hot stuff coming soon

AMG’s V8 supercar 450kW V8, 100km/h in 3.4sec: the new E63 S is off its head b y M I C H A E L TAY L O R

ONE OF the astonishing constants of the car industry is that every time the E63’s engine gets smaller, so does its 0-100km/h time. For example, it had a 6.2-litre atmo V8 with 386kW back in 2009 and punched to triple figures in 4.3 seconds (faster than the current M5, by the by). It went to a biturbo 5.5-litre V8 in 2011 and by 2013 it was ripping by 100km/h in 3.6 seconds. Now AMG has shrunk the engine down to just 4.0-litres and not only is the biturbo V8 even faster, but it’s the most powerful E-Class ever built. Ever. The list of supercars that punch to 100km/h in less than 3.5 seconds is actually a surprisingly small one. Now you can add to that list a full five seat sedan with

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plenty of luggage space, every scrap of semi-autonomous and safety tech of the E-Class and an all-wheel drive launch that gets it there in 3.4 seconds. With 450kW from a modular M177 V8 with its pair of twinscroll turbos tucked up inside the vee (just like the M5 and the RS6), it’s not just powerful. It’s got torque. It’s got 850Nm of torque from 2500rpm until 4500rpm, then the power takes over at 5750rpm and doesn’t trail off until 6500rpm. So cop that. It’s a performance envelope that would frighten Thor, putting the M5’s 423kW and 680Nm firmly in the shade and even out-rating AMG’s own GT R monster. And one of the great highlights for us is that AMG and Mercedes

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have finally built a hi-po capable all-wheel drive system it can bolt in for the world’s right-hand drive markets, so we actually get the E63 S (which used to be known as the Performance Pack) and don’t get fisted again with the more humble E63 stocker that needs, wait for it, an extra tenth of a second to get to 100km/h. It all bites down on staggered 20-inch wheels and tyres via a four-link front end, a five-link rear end and an electronically controlled limited slip rear diff. Meanwhile, the whole all-wheel drive system is biased towards acting like a rear-wheel drive as often as possible. The automatic moves to a ninespeed transmission but, in the best Affalterbach tradition, AMG


➼ Do I look fat in this? MercedesAMG pumped out the E63’s wings to accommodate the wide 20-inch wheels

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The News Hot stuff coming soon

NEXT LEVEL A version of this engine also sits in the C63, but the E63 S has 75kW and 150Nm more than the smaller Benz T

MIGHTY MOUNTS The 4.0-litre biturbo motor sits on dynamic engine mounts that are meant to give it a comfier cruise, but stiffen in hard cornering

➼ Inside, the E63 S cops an AMGspecific steering wheel and sport seats, widescreen dash also displays performance data

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TOP SHELF AMG’s Poverty Pack E63 has “only” 420kW and 750Nm. It’s almost certainly not joining the line-up in Australia

WHOPPER STOPPERS Steel brakes are well and good, but nothing fills out a twennie like a 402mm x 39mm carbonceramic front rotor

unbolts the heavy torque converter from Benz and fits it with its own wet-clutch setup. Just like it did to the old seven-speeder for years. Lairy wings might be absent, but don’t think AMG hasn’t done plenty of bodywork to the E63 S. The wheelarches had to be pushed out 17mm over the stock W213 bodyshell to accommodate the rubber for example, and it needed more brake and engine cooling, so the air intakes have proper gravitas. And so do the anchors. The stock E63’s front discs are 360mm steel jobbies, the S pushes that out to 390mm and there are carbonceramics for people who think that something around $250,000 isn’t quite enough on a lease payment. But if watching the pennies somehow correlates to your idea of

living with an E63 S, then they’ve fitted the M177 with cylinder deactivation, too. It will shut down cylinders two and three on the right bank and five and eight on the left at light throttle (between 1000 and 3250rpm), though it can jump back into V8 mode more or less instantly if you thump it. That pulls the consumption down to 9.2 litres/100km on the NEDC, or 203 grams of CO2/km. For all that trickery, AMG insists that all you really have to do to hurl yourself to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds is to engage Sport, Sport Plus or Race mode, press the brake pedal hard and stand on the accelerator pedal. Then you just step off the brake and unleash a fury that doesn’t stop until it hits the limiter at 250km/h (or the uprated big-boy limiter at 300km/h). M

Drift mode done RIGHT ALL-WHEEL drive brings more grip, but will this alienate the giggle-happy slides the old car was so fond of? Well, the E63 S’s Race mode effectively decouples the front differential, feeding all of that power and torque through the limited-slip rear differential. And if the ESP is off and the tranny is in manual mode, you can switch on a drift mode, frying up the 295/30 ZR20 rear boots in a controlled way that won’t let the car get completely out of control or turn around on the ham-fisted. There are detractors out there who criticise drift modes, but they’re a lot more responsible, in real terms and under closed driving conditions, than switching off the skid-control system altogether, which even humble hatchbacks do with varying success. – MT

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The News Hot stuff coming soon

b y M O T O R S TA F F

Holden to retire SS badge Iconic insignia to be discontinued at the end of 2017 THE REVERED SS badge will vanish when the Aussie-built Commodore bows out at the end of next year. The locally-built rear-drive Commodore will be replaced by an imported model with the same name from January 2018. But MOTOR has discovered that with no V8 variant, the SS badge will be retired and won’t appear on the next-gen imported car. The next Commodore – really the Opel Insignia – will be all-wheel drive, lighter and slightly smaller. Weight savings of 200-300kg over the current car are claimed. When it arrives, the “Insigniadore” range will be headlined by a 230kW/370Nm 3.6-litre V6 mated to a nine-speed auto and all-wheel drive, and while it’s unknown what the top

variant will be called, we can rule out SS for any imported Commodores. There’s 20kW/20Nm more than the 3.6-litre V6 in the Aussie VF II and with less mass, Holden claims the NG Commodore will hit 0-100km/h in

Relegated to the history books: the SS badge is not destined to go on imports

around six seconds. The all-wheel drive system is a ‘Twinster’ unit, similar to that on the Ford Focus RS. There’s no rear differential – instead, two clutches apportion drive left and right. Unlike the Focus, the Holden only sends up to 50 per cent of drive rearward, but torque vectoring will aid cornering. Sportback and Wagon variants are planned, with entry-level front-drivers driven by 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel or petrol fourcylinder engines. The SS badge first appeared on a Commodore in 1982 and has been the hero V8 Holden ever since, culminating in the awesome 304kW VF II SS on sale today.

FINAL FALCONS FETCH AT AUCTION THE final Falcons off the Broadmeadows production line lack compliance plates and go to Ford’s Heritage museum, but the last registerable cars were auctioned for charity. A grey XR6 Turbo

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manual ute (RRP $39,810 plus ORC) went for $81,500. With 3300km on the clock, it was the only registered vehicle. The same buyer netted the final Falcon XR6 Sprint, build number 500 of 500, for

$122,000, more than double its $54,990 RRP. Last off the line, a blue XR6 sedan (left), also doubled its RRP to $81,000; the same man bought the last Territory that netted $68,500 – just $11,500 over RRP.


The News Hot stuff coming soon

IN BRIEF

Hot Ford spied – and denied FORD AUS is denying locals a hot Falcon replacement despite testing the Taurus large sedan in Melbourne – complete with a 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6, all-wheel drive and styling scarily similar to the deceased FG X. Despite being an obvious replacement for the Falcon XR6 Turbo, being designed in Australia and wearing local plates, Taurus is reserved for the Chinese market. “Our large car offering is focused on Mondeo and we think this fulfils in terms of packaging, space, technology and styling what the large car market needs at the moment,” a Ford Oz spokesperson told MOTOR.

Merc brings back the straight-six MERCEDES-Benz has revealed a BMW-bashing 3.0litre in-line turbo six – with an Audi-assaulting electric compressor to cut lag and make over 300kW/500Nm. The potent I6 is part of a modular 500cc-per-pot new engine range, which may see a 200kW 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbo I4 in the next A250 and a 350kW/700Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in big sedans. Regenerative brakes, 48v systems and a mild-hybrid capacitor to drive the water pump and alternator/starter electrically, will unload the engine. The turbo will spool up electrically to slash lag.

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Walky’s atmo monster Wild power boost available to VF II owners HSV AND Holden V8 fans can now score 407kW and 695Nm from any VF II Commodore SS or Gen-F HSV Clubsport thanks to the optional Walkinshaw Performance W407 kit, which can be retro-fitted to existing customer cars. Costing $9990 over a 304kW SS or 340kW Clubsport, the W407 delivers – no surprises – 407kW at 6250rpm. Additions include ceramic-coated headers, cold air intake, camshaft and valve spring upgrades and an active cat-back dual exhaust. Used vehicles with over 20,000km

will also need new head gaskets, head bolts, OEM lifters and lifter guides plus the labour to fit them; this adds $1000 to the price of the kit. Rear badging, an engine plaque and certificate of authenticity are the only other changes to stock SS or Clubsports, although Walkie’s preview VF II SS (above) has a brake upgrade, yellow callipers and HSV wheels with Continental tyres. Walkinshaw even covers the threeyear/100,000km factory warranty for the engine, gearbox and diff – or the remainder thereof on used vehicles.

Want more V8 grunt without forcing the air in? The W407 is the machine for you

Three-pot Fiesta ST?

Lighter, punchier, angrier turbo triple mooted

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FORD’S NEXT Fiesta ST could be a three-cylinder turbo. According to UK outlet Auto Express, Ford Europe’s small car boss Darren Palmer said, “We’re seeing more and more of what can be done with the 1.0-litre engine. It sounds brilliant and there’s loads of torque.” The current Fiesta ST 1.6-litre turbo four gives 147kW/290Nm on overboost and similar outputs are expected from the tiny triple. The current Fiesta R2 rally car extracts 132kW/250Nm from the three-pot. Next-gen Fiesta debuts in early 2017, so we’d expect the ST version to arrive here early in 2018.


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GET READY FOR JOURNEYS OF SHEER DRIVING PLEASURE IN E YOUR SAFETY, WITH TYRES THAT IINSTINCTIVELY TRANSLATE O THE ROAD. DECISIONS ONTO m For more information, visit www.michelin.com.au


The News

by GEORG KACHER

Hot stuff coming soon

EXCLUSIVE!

AMG’s top model goes topless Riding shotgun in AMG’s new 410kW solarium

AS SURE as night follows day, it was inevitable Mercedes-AMG would produce a convertible version of its GT sports car. We all know the routine: cut the top off, strengthen the chassis, soften the suspension and jack the price up. But no, this time things are a little bit different. There will indeed be a Roadster version of the base 350kW/630Nm GT, the coupe version of which will join the current 375kW/650Nm GT S in Australia in 2017, but the GT C Roadster is a much more serious machine, with more in common with

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the hardcore GT R that also joins the local lineup in 2017. It’s going to be a big year for AMG’s range-topper. The GT C turns the wick up on the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 to the tune of 410kW/680Nm, enough to offset the extra 90kg it carries over the 1570kg GT S hardtop and ensure a 0-100km/h sprint of 3.7sec on the way to a 316km/h top speed. It also scores a number of chassis goodies from the GT R road racer, including pumped guards to accommodate the wider track and wider wheels, an electronically-

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Wider guards, tracks and wheels give the GT C Roadster a serious stance

controlled limited-slip differential and rear-wheel steering. While it may appear strange that the GT C Roadster is more hardcore than the current GT S coupe, rest assured that a hardtop GT C will be joining the range towards the end of 2017. Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed, but expect a price tag in the $350,000 region, at which point the GT C Roadster appears to sit right on top of AMG’s current twin-turbo V8 drop-top, the $368K SL63. To help us figure out the difference between these two power-packed open-air


Soft top roof means an increase of 90kg, not an issue when you have 410kW/680Nm

In a matter of seconds the GT C reveals a very different personality to the similarly-priced SL63 artists, we’ve joined AMG boss Tobias Moers and his team in Las Vegas as they continue tweaking the GT C prior to its launch, a continual process, according to Moers. “A complex product like this is always a work in progress,” explains the affable German. “When you think you’re finally done with it, the successor is already well underway.” It takes mere seconds for the GT C to reveal a very different personality to the more comfort-oriented SL63. One press of the starter button fires the M178 V8 into life with a roar, the

resulting reverberation sending a shiver through both the car and your spine. In true Germanic style, the cabin is constructed from top-of-the-range materials and equipment and has excellent seats, but there are a few ergonomic foibles. Taller drivers will find leg room isn’t exactly generous due to the extended curved dashboard, the dual-layer COMAND controller is a confusing mish-mash of buttons and dials, the gear lever is located too far back on the centre console and the eight prominent

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buttons lined up on either side are difficult to find without taking your eyes off the road. On the move – or not, thanks to the stifling traffic of this gambling nirvana – the adaptive suspension does its best to tune out the bumps in the road, but there’s little the dampers can do about enormous tyres – Michelin Pilot Super Sports measuring 265/35 R19 front and 305/30 R20 rear – that clearly prioritise lateral grip over comfort. Free of traffic, the drive mode knob is twisted to Sport and the dampers

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The News Hot stuff coming soon

The GT C is an intoxicating mix of hardcore sportster and convertible cruiser stiffen while lowering the chassis half a notch. In this mode the GT C corners with poise and prowess, conquering climbs and dominating descents with the surefootedness of a twin-turbo mountain goat. The wider footprint and rear-wheel steering are instantly evident through corners. At speeds up to 100km/h the rear wheels counter steer to enhance agility in tighter turns, while above that pace all four wheels point in the same direction to increase stability and controllability in sweepers. According to Moers, the steering isn’t quite there yet, though he was happy with how this early preproduction model performs, and the

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giant carbon-ceramic brakes bite with amazing vigour, bringing even the most over eager and ballistic run to a gut-wrenching stop. The engine is a harmonious blend of sound regardless of the mode selected, but in Sport it takes on the character of an approaching thunder storm. With maximum torque of 680Nm developed between 19005750rpm, unleashing the V8 presses us firmly back in our seats with phenomenal mid-range thrust. While the switch to turbos was aimed to improving fuel economy, any official figures are a distant dream if your toe meets the carpet with any regularity, though you’ll remember

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AMG boss Tobias Moer (right) often compares the GT C more to the GT R than the base GT models. It does share quite a bit of kit

the resulting exhilaration for longer than the fuel bills. Radar traps dotting the landscape hinder Moer’s desire to let his latest charge gallop, but with Sean Sonnenborn of the Las Vegas Police telling us “we’re normally easy on German tourists; at least they know how to drive” a quick blast reveals some of the GT C’s character. With the top up, it’s a cocoon of speed and comfort, noisy enough to stir the emotions yet quiet enough for conversation, but lower the fabric roof – a process that takes 11 seconds and can be completed at up to 50km/h – and it suddenly becomes a wind tunnel, buffeting hair and stifling conversation. An intoxicating mix of hardcore sportster and convertible cruiser, the GT C will face stiff competition in the form of the new 911 GTS Cabriolet and forthcoming Aston Martin Vantage roadster, but feels well up to meeting the challenge. M


3 Merc hair-tearers

1. SLR McLaren (’07-’10) FOLLOWING a fairly frosty reception to its mighty coupe, Mercedes and McLaren fiddled with the suspension settings on the Roadster in an effort to tame the awesome 460kW/780Nm outputs from the 5.5-litre supercharged V8. It didn’t really work, with the SLR Roadster remaining unloved, despite its formidable speed and stunning good looks.

2. SLS AMG (’11-’14) Amazing Black Series aside, the Roadster was the better of the two SLS bodystyles for two reasons. First, the open roof provided better access to the thundering 420kW/650Nm 6.2-litre V8, one of the world’s greatest engines. Second, removing the roof meant deleting the gullwing doors, which might have looked cool but proved a massive pain when getting in and out of the car.

3. AMG GT-C (2017) Smaller and cheaper than the SLS but, if anything, even more potent, the GT C will be joined by a regular GT Roadster. Less powerful with ‘only’ 350kW/630Nm and lacking its bigger brother’s chassis trickery, it’ll nevertheless be fast, formidable and, at around $300K, a fair bit cheaper. Look out Porsche 911 Cabriolet?

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T H E

A N N U A L

2 0 1 6 TOWING THE LINE

Send us your rant. Or something nice. Go on, it feels good

The Vent MOTOR reserves the right to edit letters for brevity, accuracy, and consistency.

Win This!

SPECIAL EDITION PULSAR WATCH

LETTER OF THE MONTH

One area where automatic is definitely better is in the field of watches. Freed from worrying what time it is, Letter of the Month winner Stuart can dedicate more time to his manual gearshifts with this stylish quad-dial Pulsar watch on his wrist. From the spectacular stainless-steel construction to the magnificent black multi-dial face, the $250 (RRP) PU2001X1 is the perfect partner in time. Features include a date and chronograph function, along with a two-year warranty, and it’s water resistant to 100m.

FEELING DISENGAGED AT THE risk of hyperbole, the move away from manual gearboxes is part of the supra-nationalist, post-modern Marxist agenda to remove power from the people and vest it in the hands of a small number of giant corporations and unelected quasigovernment organisations. It is one element of the gradual erosion of rights of the individual and must be resisted! Now I have your attention, I am saddened by the several letters published in recent months bemoaning the existence of the manual gearbox. It has its place and will hopefully continue with us for the remaining life of the internal combustion engine. If I were commuting in Sydney or Melbourne I’d want a torque converter. If I were setting standing quarter mile times (and, possibly, racing) I’d want a dual-clutch. But in virtually all other aspects of motoring

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give me a manual! Every time I drive an automatic or dual-clutch I get very frustrated with the “computer knows best” refusal to give me the gear I want. Further, echoing the Dieselgate scandal, I suspect automatics are tuned for the fuel economy (and, possibly, emissions) test – not for real-world driving. Having recently driven a DSG-equipped SUV I found myself disengaged (no pun intended) with driving. Speed may be a factor in some road accidents but inattention is a much greater hazard. Removing the visceral link provided by a manual gearbox between the driver and the road can only contribute to this inattention. Stuart Barr, via email

Hear, hear! Yes, good point that of the driving masses, one way to help prevent minds wandering is to give them a clutch and H-pattern to worry about.

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It will be a sad day when the Aussie ute as we know it is no longer available. Having something that has the dynamics and performance of a normal car as opposed to a truck is something I value and will miss once production stops. As a grass roots racing enthusiast, “to tow or not to tow” is something many ponder when your track toy of choice is street registered. In most cases, this choice is a restriction of the tow rating of your daily drive. In my case, it’s a VE SS-V Redline ute. After reading page 124 of the December issue, I was excited to hear that the automatic VF II Redline utes could tow 2100kg – 500kg more than the manual and my current ute. But sadly my research tells a different story, with the tow rating no different to my current VE. That is unless Holden is publishing the incorrect details? What I can’t understand is how the Caprice (built on the same wheel base) is able to tow the more desirable 2100kg – identical to the VF II Redline range. Fair to say that the current offering of V8 utes are more sports than utility (no complaints there!) but surely it should be able to handle the same towing loads as their equivalent stable mates?

Matthew Crozier, via email You’re absolutely right, Matthew, the VF II ute can only tow 1600kg regardless of transmission, sadly the sedan figure was used in the December issue. For more on the issue check out p122.

PLATE HATE I find it quite disturbing that, depending on the colour combination used, many of those personalised number plates are extremely hard to read properly – even from a relatively short distance (although they’re probably a great revenue raiser for the NSW government). This was highlighted last week, when I witnessed the driver of a 4WD Hilux reverse into a parked car with such force that he a hard time getting off the bonnet – and then he did the bolt. I was no more than 30 metres away but I couldn’t read his rego because they were a set of those ridiculous coloured plates and so couldn’t make a proper report. So now we have this poor soul with a very second-hand-looking front end on their otherwise nice, shiny black Aurion and no way of identifying the culprit. I was under the impression that the primary objective of rego plates were to be easily read. Clearly I am mistaken (although I assume that these plates light up if detected by a roadside camera!). Now, this is all well and good in minor collisions but what if someone was hit or


MOTOR@bauer-media.com.au d motorofficial f motor_mag injured and the offender flees the scene? I strongly believe that the NSW government needs to immediately address this situation of coloured and unreadable plates – even if it doesn’t do their bottom line any good.

Simon Herrington, via email

COULD THROTTLE SOMEONE I wish to comment on the XR8 Sprint manual test by applauding Scott Newman for not holding back when describing the annoyance of how the revs hang when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. Many have been experiencing this unwanted feature in recent car models. Perhaps they may be interested in a detailed

seconds was achieved by some of the press at the launch in Tasmania (replicated by my own forum with reasonable success). The fact that there’s such a degree of disagreement between reviews makes it hard to accept the result – in fact, it suggests that these reviews have an agenda to push. If in MOTOR’s experience all turbo-six Sprint’s exhibited the same brake issue then that’s fine however if there’s any degree of isolation or specifics with brakes, transmission or driving technique I would urge you to explain, otherwise the comments appear to come out of left field and confuse readers – ultimately turning them away. If the XR8 Sprint didn’t have the same issues, then something is amiss – the XR6

“It will be a sad day when the Aussie ute as we know it is no longer available” technical appraisal of “rev hang” at www.revhang.altervista.org. As an automotive engineer I’ve spent a lot of time explaining how and why rev hang works. Keep up the good work.

Sprint uses the same brakes in a lighter car.

WHAT’S THE GO

Ian Parry, via Facebook Unsurprisingly, quite a few readers were upset about the XR6 Sprint’s seventh place finish in the $50K-$100K class at Bang For Your Bucks. So were we, because its combination of price and pace made it a strong on-paper contender. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way, but there were also issues with our comments, as some felt them out of step with our previous Sprint assessments. Remember, this was the first time we’d driven the Sprints on track. While we don’t assess cars as if they’re race cars, it’s fair to say the on-limit behaviour of both Falcons was found wanting, particularly in comparison to the SS-V Redline and even the 300 SRT. There was nothing to suggest that there was anything wrong with the XR6 Sprint’s brakes, they held up reasonably well. The problem was that they just don’t inspire confidence during hard braking, admittedly the kind you’re only going to do on the road in an emergency.

I was confused about the comments surrounding the XR6 Sprint’s seventh place in this year’s BFYB. You seemed to take issue with the Sprint’s brakes more than other cars fitted with Ford’s premium brake combination. Press cars rely on the manufacturers to ensure that the brakes have fresh pads and fluids however it seems as though this may be an issue due to complete contradictory reports being written a few months apart. I can’t recall the Sprint’s transmission being cited for this degree of performance reduction – how was it used? Small margins in performance make all the difference in BYFB. 0-100km/h in 4.7

Just reading through the October issue and noticed the dilemma regarding the amazing Hellcat Challenger and Charger. There would seem to be one simple solution: treat us like adults and let us decide if we want to buy and drive a new left-hand drive car. No other nations seem to have such a fear of LHD cars, especially brand new ones. Why is this? Anywhere else in the world it doesn’t seem to matter which side the wheel happens to be on. Time to undo the leash and let us adults choose and buy whatever we like. Mustang, Dodge Ram, Camaro, or Challenger anyone?

Steven Janda, via email

SPRINT FINISH I am really confused with the XR6’s result in Bang For Your Bucks. If ever there was a chance of an Aussie car winning, it’s the XR6 Sprint, yet it didn’t appear in the top six? On paper it literally destroys everything. My concern in the article was any real lack of justification.

Daniel Millywood, via email Here we see the difference between on-paper and real-world results. While at $54,990 the XR6 Sprint scored well on the ‘Bucks’ side of things, it simply wasn’t fast enough in what was an extremely potent field. It was midfield in its acceleration numbers and dead last in its lap time.

LET US BE ADULTS

John Brandt, via email An interesting point, John. The big question is: if a 30-year-old left-hand drive vehicle is deemed to be safe to drive on public roads (and it is), why isn’t a brand new one?

NOT A BAD SORT Some talk was floating around regarding the possibility of the Buick La Crosse coming here under a Holden Badge. I have a good friend in the US who has had one for three years. Beautiful interior, great motor but is front-wheel drive. Still, it drives well and is comfortable. The latest model looks better in my eyes than the Opel.

Ian Wilson, via Facebook

MONSTER BREWING I was recently told by a Holden dealer that the last Holden SS Commodore, arriving next year, would be called the Final Edition and have a 475kW supercharged V8. Apparently it won’t have SS badging and instead will have Final Edition stickers. Price to be around $60,000. Aiming at car enthusiasts?

Aaron Chappell, via Facebook Holden does have a couple of special editions up its sleeve to farewell Commodore (we don’t know full details yet) but we’re 99.9 per cent certain we won’t see a supercharged version. We’d be happy to be proven wrong, but we suspect the dealer may have been referring to the forthcoming LS9-powered HSV GTS-R W1?

LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME I just read the new issue. Top stuff as usual. The piece on the NSW Highway Patrol using the new Mustang caught my eye. I was told by someone who knows someone that it’s definitely a go and that Rob Herrod is the man supplying the transmission cooler. Hopefully this will stop the auto overheating in hard driving situations. Time will tell.

Matthew Lovich, via Facebook

Need some advice? At mental loggerheads over your next performance car purchase? MOTOR is now offering individually tailored new car buying advice, for free (really). Send us your question at whichcar.com.au/ask-the-expert.


Sw weet dream Wee dream it. They build it.

Underdone hot hatch needs a boost IT’S NO secret we’re not the biggest fans of the latest Mini John Cooper Works. It’s reasonably quick in a straight line, but as a package it feels unresolved, like Mini made a grown-up hatch and tried to inject some of the traditional ‘go kart feel’ at the last minute. Fortunately, there’s one more opportunity for the latest Cooper to redeem itself in the form of the ‘GP’

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badge. This evocative pair of letters denotes the ultimate Mini; Europe has had a taste of two different GP generations, but Australia only received the latter in 2013. It was a seriously hardcore little gadget, with track-focused tyres, no rear seat, body bracing, big brakes and a decent helping of extra power. On a twisty road or racetrack, it was an absolute riot

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- one of the most exciting frontdrivers ever built, which helped it to secure our 2013 Bang For Your Bucks award. With the market for hardcore hot hatches well established thanks to the likes of the Renault Sport Megane Trophy and VW Golf GTI 40 Years, the time is ripe for Mini to get its head down and build a hottie worthy of the nameplate. M


illustration by BRENDON WISE words by SCOTT NEWMAN

➥ ➥ ➥ ➥ The previous Mini GP was an absolute riot on a twisty road or racetrack

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Here’s how we’d do it TRIPLE TREAT Here’s the first shock: whereas our GP produces the same 170kW/320Nm as the regular JCW, here it’s courtesy of the i8-spec 1.5litre turbo three-pot. Less weight over the nose means sharper handling and then there’s the throaty three-cylinder roar.

SHIFTING GEAR Manual-only special editions seem to be the flavour of the month, but there’s no doubt adding an auto greatly increases its showroom appeal. Both gearboxes are six-speed units, though more importantly there’s a mechanical limited-slip diff between the front wheels. No electronic trickery here.

LIGHTEN UP While the new diff adds a few kg, the lighter engine, deletion of the rear seats and lightweight buckets up front drop the kerb weight to a feather-like 1140kg for a better power-to-weight ratio than a Renault Megane RS275. Wheels remain 18s but are now wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres to really ratchet up the grip levels.

BIG SOFTY In another unusual move, we’d actually slightly soften the chassis. The current JCW feels artificially darty in its steering and too reactive over bumps, whereas we want the GP to still have flea-like reflexes but with the compliance to work on a typical bumpy back road. Unsurprisingly, the balance will always be set towards oversteer.

DOLLAR BILLS Only 55 examples of the previous Mini GP made it to Oz with a fairly hefty price tag of $56,900. We’ll use that as our auto price, with the manual asking $2000 less at $54,900. No limited edition this time, but even then it’ll remain a rare sight on the road.

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F I V E

C A R S

T E S T E D

First Fang New. Fast. Driven. PAGE

30 MELBOURNE, VIC

HSV Senator Signature It’s a great drive, brutally fast, looks good and the MRC dampers are an advantage. With a, fun-loving heart, the Senator LSA is like Barack Obama with wheels

PAGE

32 ALBURY, NSW

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34 MELBOURNE, VIC

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36 BYRON BAY, GOLD COAST

BMW 240i

BMW’s newest addition to the M family. $15K cheaper than the M2 with a turbo six generating 500Nm of torque and mature handling makes this an attractive option

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

It’s a slightly surreal experience, like a Cayenne that’s eaten a 911 Turbo. It will be bought by those who must have the biggest and the best

Renault Megane GT The latest Renault Sport sits low and wide, and looks great with its deep blue hero colour. The auto box is impressively intuitive, slickly rushing through its seven playing cards

BMW 740Li: Turbo straight-six limo unleashed Hot Source, p136


by JEZ SPINKS

Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe It’s got a twin-turbo V6 with balls – but is it really a baby C63? ENGINE 2996cc V6 DOHC twin turbo / POWER 270kW @ 5500-6000rpm / TORQUE torque 520Nm @ 2000-4200rpm / WEIGHT 1870kg / 0-100KM/H 4.7sec (claim) / PRICE $105,615

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ENTAL IMAGES of Benz C-Class AMGs are usually clouded by smoky burnouts generated by torquey, tyre-shredding V8s. So, despite the existence of the A45, we’re probably not alone in struggling to get our heads around the idea of an Affalterbach-altered mid-sizer with six cylinders and all-wheel drive. Seems Benz is also slightly confused about the C43, which was originally a sportier version of a C400 and badged C450 AMG Sport. What hasn’t changed is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that produces 28 per cent fewer bubbles than the C63’s fullfizz 375kW 4.0-litre dual-snail V8. Mercedes will be hoping it proves more popular than Coke Life. View it with a half-glass-full attitude, though, and with 270kW and 520Nm the C43’s outputs almost identically match those of the decadeold C55 AMG – in the good ol’ days when a Benz badge was actually related to engine capacity. A run in the Coupe variant of what

will eventually comprise four body styles reveals a sweet engine. While it can only propel the C43 to within seven-tenths of its angrier sibling in the 0-100 sprint despite the advantage of the 4Matic system, the 4.7-second quote matches its most direct rival – the 260kW/500Nm Audi S4/S5. Maximum torque arrives at 2000rpm, though low-rev throttle response is doughy in Comfort mode so a switch to mid-mode Sport or topmode Sport Plus is necessary to stir the most desirable reaction from the six-cylinder. There’s a delectable raspiness to the engine even if it’s not as omnipresent as the C63’s V8, but the most AMG-like noises come from the Performance exhaust that’s part of a $4990 Performance Ergonomics Package option. It ensures the C43 burbles on the over-run and pops and crackles on flat-out upshifts. Those shifts from the nine-speed auto are crisp and quick without matching the ferocious rapidity of big-brother’s seven-speeder. Less

STAR RATING

3.5 Like

Plenty of grunt; strong grip and traction

Dislike

Not quite true to the AMG brand we know and love

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acceptable is the auto’s reluctance to downshift from third to second for hairpins on command, and its determination to change up 250rpm shy of the 6500rpm redline even if the ‘manual shift mode’ button has been engaged. If this is naughtiness of the wrong variety for an AMG, the C43 is also a little too polite on the road. Mercedes says there’s a rear bias to the allwheel drive system, though power oversteer is certainly not freely available on tap, detracting from the inherent sportiness of the new model. While it‘s tempting to call this an AMG with training wheels, owing to its predictable rather than playful handling which verges towards mild understeer on the limit, the C43’s agility still impresses – as does its excellent traction out of corners. And on rainy days, that AWD system is a welcome USP for a speedily piloted C-Class. The steering doesn’t lose any involvement either, providing the right kind of feedback – in contrast

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First Fang New. Fast. Driven.

to the BMW 440i’s rack – and commanding obedience from the C43 Coupe’s front end. The suspension is almost identical to the C63’s, give or take what Mercedes says are some minor calibration differences. Yet while even in Comfort there’s the familiar ultra-stiff set-up, that’s neither a back-breaker nor deal-breaker, some floatiness across compressions suggests the C43’s dampers aren’t quite as disciplined across undulating country roads. That firm ride isn’t the only factor providing at least the sensation of being in the flagship AMG. The aforementioned Ergonomics Pack also brings the C63’s Recaro-style Performance seats and its flatbottomed leather/microfibre steering wheel – albeit without the contrasting grey centring stripe. And the chequered-flag-design AMG instrument cluster is standard among the now-familiar upmarket presentation of the C-Class cabin. The C43 gains head-up display, darker trim details, a sunroof and LED intelligent headlights. The Coupe and Cabriolet variants add heated seats over the sedan and wagon versions. The C43 has more in common visually with sibling four- rather than eight-cylinder Coupes, particularly as all the two-doors wear an AMG body kit as standard.

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Recaro-style seats are part of an extracost option pack. Coupe seats are heated too

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While there’s an AMG badge, it sits on a diamond rather than black-mesh grille, and the exterior also misses out on the C63 S’s bicep-flexing ‘power dome’ bonnet, more aggressivelooking lower air intakes, quad exhaust tips, and one-inch-bigger (20-inch) rear wheels, possibly to the model’s detriment. Mercedes understandably has to protect the more expensive AMG, especially as it carries a premium of more than 50 per cent over the $105,615 C43 Coupe. The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe, in fact, is positioned perfectly in both specifications and pricing – the latter

landing it in the vicinity of both the BMW 440i and Audi S5. The badge is trickier to reconcile. Where Audi and BMW have found a good middle-ground with their respective S and M Performance subbrands, the C43 feels like it’s missing some key strands of AMG DNA. It’s more sanity than satanic. That broader appeal will hopefully do wonders in the showroom for the brand, of course. Yet while the original C450 AMG Sport moniker doesn’t carry the same marketing muscle as the new badge, it seems a more natural fit for what is still another highly likeable C-Class. M


The C43 feels like it’s missing some key strands of AMG DNA

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First Fang New. Fast. Driven.

b y S C O T T N E W M A N p i c s N AT H A N J A C O B S

HSV Senator Signature 400kW luxo-barge could offer more for the dough

ENGINE 6162cc V8, OHV, 16v, supercharger / POWER 400kW @ 6150rpm / TORQUE 671Nm @ 4200rpm / WEIGHT 1902kg / 0-100KM/H 4.5sec (estimated) / PRICE $92,990

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N THESE troubled political times, people are looking for a senator they can trust. Here's one, HSV’s Gen-F2 Senator Signature, now packing 400kW/671Nm of 6.2litre supercharged LSA V8. Were it to run for office, there’d be no doubting its allegiance: it would undoubtedly be number one on the Motoring Enthusiast Party’s ticket. Despite this, in true political fashion we’re a little unclear about what the Senator stands for. At $92,990, it sits less than arm’s length from HSV’s GTS flagship in price, yet its mechanical make-up seems more aligned with the $10K cheaper Clubsport. Around 150 find homes every year, so it appeals to a small but dedicated segment of the community. Spotting a Gen-F2 Senator is a reasonably simple task thanks to the deeply scalloped side skirts, bonnet vents and black lip that extends right

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around the bottom of the body – all part of the cosmetic upgrade that spread across HSV’s range in late 2015. It’s a more restrained effort than some stablemates however. The standard 20-spoke alloys are classier than the Clubsport’s more aggressive 10-spokers, the brake calipers are an understated silver rather than look-at-me red, and while HSV offers a full colour palette, including Sting Red, Jungle Green and Slipstream Blue, you’re more likely to see a Senator in a more subtle shade such as silver Nitrate, the grey of Prussian Steel or the deep green of Regal Peacock. Inside, it’s more or less identical to the Clubsport, bar a couple of minor trim differences and the addition of heated seats, something not available even in the GTS and extremely welcome during a Melbourne winter. The seats are big and comfy, the driving position is excellent and

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STAR RATING

4.0 Like

Classy looks; ride comfort

Dislike

Slow-ish steering; crazy fuel thirst

there’s plenty of equipment, but the Commodore-origins of the Senator’s interior inevitably become more of a problem as the price rises. The other side of that coin is that $90-odd grand still isn’t a lot of money for this level of performance. In fact, it’s cheap – anything European at this price point is giving away the best part of 150kW/200Nm and would be nothing but a speck in the Senator’s rear-view mirror given its 4.5sec 0-100km/h and 12.6sec quarter mile potential. The Senator has any cornering concerns covered. Like all HSVs it’s too big to truly shrink around you – it feels like it takes up the entire lane on most country roads – but the balance and composure of the chassis allow it to be driven hard with complete confidence. Step slightly over the limit and understeer and oversteer both build progressively, with the sensational ESP system ready to mop


up any excesses. The brakes are equally brilliant and only the slightly slow steering response off-centre raises its head as an issue. Of course, this cornering capability is true of the cheaper Clubsport, but the Senator’s ace up its sleeve is its magnetorheological dampers, dubbed Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), taken from the GTS. The one bugbear with the Clubsport is its stiff-legged urban ride, whereas one anti-clockwise turn of the Driver Preference Dial in the Senator softens the dampers enough to absorb most bumps and road imperfections. Despite HSV claiming the settings are identical, however, it doesn’t feel quite as soft in Tour mode as the last GTS we drove. Outwardly conservative and sensible but with a mischievous, funloving heart, the Senator LSA is like Barack Obama with wheels. But it’s a hard car to recommend. It's a great drive, brutally fast, looks good and the MRC dampers are an advantage, but the price gap to the GTS is just too small. For an extra $3000 (or $5500 for auto) you get range-topping kudos, the full 430kW/740Nm and monster six-piston AP Racing brakes. For these reasons, the GTS gets our vote. M

Outwardly sensible but with a fun-loving heart, it's like Barack Obama with wheels For the same money as a German 2.0litre four with a few options, you can have a 400kW V8

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First Fang New. Fast. Driven.

by DANIEL DESGAPERI

At three-quarter intensity it feels lighter on its feet than hot hatch rivals

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BMW M240i The boys are at it again

ENGINE 2998cc 6cyl, DOHC, 24v, turbo / POWER 250kW @ 5500rpm / TORQUE 500Nm @ 1520-4500rpm / WEIGHT 1485kg / 0-100KM/H 4.6sec (auto) / PRICE $74,900

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IBLING rivalry is fierce at BMW at the moment. While the M2 has been flexing its beefy bodywork and stretching its 465Nm turbo six, its overshadowed M235i little brother has been determinedly lifting weights out of the limelight to now finally emerge as the renewed M240i… with a 500Nm turbo six. Both models use a 3.0-litre inline six powered by a single twin-scroll turbo, but where the M2 scores a variation of the M235i’s N55 engine, the M240i gets a new modular unit – the design can run as a 1.5-litre three, 2.0-litre four or even 4.0-litre V8 – dubbed B58. The new engine has a tougher, closed-deck block pinched from diesel cousins, with fewer cooling jackets. New metal coatings for the bores and connecting rods claim to increase smoothness, decrease friction and wear, and permit greater heat dissipation, with the electronically-controlled thermostat now variable in operation for finer control. Finally, the formerly frontmounted intercooler is now a waterto-air unit positioned inside the intake manifold and teams with a shorter intake tract from the turbo to boost response.

The upshot of all that work is 250kW at 5500rpm, a mild 10kW lift over the M235i, but that impressive maximum torque figure, produced from 1520-4500rpm, represents a substantial 50Nm increase over its predecessor and a potential problem for its big brother. While the M2 can match the M240i's twist, the full 500Nm are only available on overboost between 1450-4750rpm. Worse still, the M240i matches the baby M-ster for equipment while asking for substantially less money. A price cut of $2600 versus the outgoing M235i has the M240i starting at $74,900 as an eight-speed automatic, with a sixspeed manual a no-cost option. Standard kit includes Harman Kardon audio, electrically adjustable front seats, keyless auto-entry and even two-mode adaptive suspension, matching the $99K DCT-equipped M2 – the cheaper manual-only M2 Pure misses out. On paper it looks like a no-brainer: the M240i has similar outputs and equipment levels and with its sharp new 0-100km/h claim of 4.6sec, gives away just three-tenths to its more powerful sibling. So, $24K for three tenths, right? Well, not so fast. The new B58 doesn’t feel hugely

STAR RATING

4.0 Like

Great value; sweet drivetrain; enjoyable dynamics

Dislike

Needs an LSD; M140i makes more sense

It lacks the focus of the M2, but the M240i is a sweetly potent package that's easily usable every day

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different to the N55. It still sings a creamy mid-range tune, but feels slightly keener at the top end. Both transmissions are terrific partners, delivering a more cohesive and characterful driving experience than most four-cylinder rivals. On northern Victorian black-top and at Winton Raceway, however, the M240i lacks the explosive powerdown of an M2. The steering is nicely sharp and tight to a point, but when loaded it provides less feedback from a front-end with less bite than its fattracked sibling, which also has much more rubber to lean on. Nobody wants to see a little brother bullied, but on a twisty road it sorta gets knocked out. There isn’t nearly the same bulldog-biting aggression on turn-in, nor the ability to choose between explosively rapid corner exits or precise, poke-inface oversteer. Instead the M240i requires some delicate balancing on corner entry followed by calm and considered throttle on exit. This BMW is most rewarding below nine-tenths, which is probably fair considering the adaptive suspension provides the sort of rounded ride that is less likely to drive your partner mad. Particularly in Sport, it is firm but controlled. At three-quarter intensity it is sweetly engaging and feels lighter on its feet than hot hatch rivals like the A45 and RS3. The linear power delivery gels beautifully in a compact rear-drive package, the only downside being the lack of a limitedslip diff – it’s a hefty $5390 dealer-fit option that should be standard. But there’s another BMW sibling that should be considered here. The M140i hatch is $10K cheaper than the M240i, and 500Nm for $65K suddenly places greater distance to the M2 and leaves cash to splash on an LSD. It seems this is one family feud that's set to continue. M

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First Fang New. Fast. Driven.

by SCOTT NEWMAN pics ALEX RAE

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S A hilariously-rapid lesson in glorious excess

ENGINE 4806cc V8, DOHC, 32v, twin-turbo / POWER 419kW @ 6000rpm / TORQUE 800Nm @ 2500rpm / WEIGHT 2235kg / 0-100KM/H 3.98sec (tested) / PRICE $287,200

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RAKE PEDAL firmly pressed, accelerator pedal mashed to the floor, ‘Performance start activated’ flashes up in the right-hand screen of Porsche’s signature five-dial instrument binnacle. It’s an unusual phrase to read when, in motoring terms, I’m sitting three floors up, but it's what happens next which is even more improbable. With the brake pedal released, the Cayenne Turbo S rears like a startled animal, the front wheels spinning slightly as they drag the nose sideways across the track. First gear disappears in a flash, the automatic gearbox engaging second with a slight jolt at 60km/h and third at 110km/h. Despite packing eight ratios, the Turbo S is tall-geared and fourth isn’t required until 170km/h, the quarter-mile mark flashing by moments later. The data is scarcely believable. This 2235kg behemoth

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has just completed 0-100km/h in 3.98sec and the quarter mile in 12.15sec at 185.08km/h, making it the fastest production SUV in the world. The Cayenne Turbo S is an orgy of outrageous numbers. Officially, Porsche claims a top speed of 284km/h, thanks to a 419kW/800Nm 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8, but given the conservative nature of its acceleration claims (0-100km/h 4.1sec; 0-400m 12.4sec) we wouldn’t be surprised if the true figure is nudging 300km/h. Regardless, at those speeds you’ll be glad of the giant carbon-ceramic brakes, the discs measuring 420mm with 10-piston calipers (!) up front and 370mm discs and four-piston calipers at the rear. The biggest number of all, however, is the price. In standard form it’s $287,200 but a handful of options such as a sports exhaust ($6390), panoramic sunroof ($1190) and, unusually, 5mm wheel spacers ($870)

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STAR RATING

4.0 Like

Insane pace; handling; V8 soundtrack

Dislike

Regular Turbo more than enough and $52K less

lift our test car to $299,870. While in a post-Bentayga world that figure doesn’t seem so otherworldly, it is a good $60K north of the Range Rover Sport SVR and almost $100,000 more than similarly powerful German rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S and BMW X5M. So the Cayenne Turbo S scores highly for pub (or, more likely, sailing club) bragging rights, but how does all this impressive hardware translate to the road? Pretty damn well. As you might expect from its performance figures, the acceleration is extraordinary – it requires physical effort to keep your head upright. Opportunities to use full throttle are rare, as by the time you reach it you're usually rapidly approaching the highway speed limit. Unusually for a turbo engine, power increases as revs build rather than a big mid-range lump. It also sounds great, brutal and dirty, particularly


It will be bought by those who have to have the biggest and the best and on that basis, it delivers

It's big and it's heavy, but the Cayenne Turbo S will blow your mind with the pace it can carry cross country

from outside, with pops and burbles on the over-run and a deep whoompf on full-throttle upshifts. The eightspeed auto is brilliant, its shifts dualclutch quick but with much smoother low-speed behaviour. Unfortunately, the Turbo S doesn’t stop as well as it goes. There’s nothing wrong with the brakes – though in true carbon-ceramic style they’re a little soft at the top of the pedal travel – the tyres simply can’t handle the amount of braking force applied. In our 100-0km/h emergency stop test the ABS triggered heavily and extended the braking distance to a poor 39.5m with subsequent attempts no better. It’s in the corners that the true extent of Porsche’s engineering wizardry is most evident. To be honest, bar the X5M, few of these high-performance SUVs are very enjoyable to drive fast, but the Turbo S does raise the bar another notch. It’s a slightly surreal experience, like a Cayenne that’s eaten a 911 Turbo. The steering wheel, the way the nose tramlines slightly and the rear-biased all-wheel drive system (yes, this is an SUV that will power oversteer) are familiar from the 911, but its size,

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weight and speed mean you need to be extremely careful in how you place it, as there’s an awful lot of momentum at play. The PDCC active anti-roll bars minimise body movement in hard cornering, which is a slightly bizarre sensation as the only cue that you’re approaching the limit is tyre slip. The upside is the ability to soften the antiroll bars when not under load, which combined with the air suspension, provides a very acceptable level of ride comfort. It’s a little jittery over poor surfaces, but in general it’s comfortable and well-controlled. However, as impressive as the engineering is, the Cayenne Turbo S is the ultimate example of diminishing returns. Its performance advantage over the regular Turbo is utterly irrelevant and, to be honest, a wellspecced Cayenne GTS offers all the comfort and practicality and most of the performance (minus the lovely V8 soundtrack) for more than $100K less. But no one is going to objectively decide they need a Cayenne Turbo S. It will be bought by those who have to have the biggest and the best and on that basis, it delivers as the ultimate performance SUV. M

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First Fang New. Fast. Driven.

by DANIEL DEGASPERI

Renault Megane GT Warm hatch a tasty entree to the main course

ENGINE 1618cc inline-4cyl, DOHC, 16v, turbo / POWER 151kW @ 6000rpm / TORQUE 280Nm @ 2400rpm / WEIGHT 1392kg / 0-100KM/H 7.1sec (claimed) / PRICE $38,490

IT MIGHTN’T be familiar to many, but the term amuse-bouche comes to mind with the Renault Sport Megane GT – a pre-entree surprise, a morsel set to tantalise the tastebuds in preparation for the feast ahead. Or maybe I should just cut back on the My Kitchen Rules. If fans had their way the new Megane RS main would be here, and yet Renault Sport has served a sample of its new five-door hatchback as a flavour of things to come. Like four-wheel steering, or 4CONTROL as it’s dubbed, and a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic we hope rights the wrongs of the six-speed Clio RS. All in a dish served from $38,490, well below the DSG-equipped $43,490 Golf GTI that Renault hopes to poach buyers from. The Megane GT’s 1.6-litre turbo four boasts similar power to the VW’s bigger 2.0-litre, with 151kW at 6000rpm (versus 162kW), though its peak torque figure of 280Nm at 2400rpm is a long way short of the gutsier Golf’s 350Nm max. The latest Renault Sport sits low and wide, and looks great with its

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deep blue hero colour bouncing off the silver foglight recess, door mirrors and rear diffuser with 18-inch alloys filling the guards well. Colourful digital instruments, formhugging sports seats – cloaked in an effervescent hue – and a leatherwrapped tiller add to the impression that this is a trim, taut little unit. That’s merely an illusion, however, because the Megane weighs a tubby 1392kg. As a result, it struggles to feel fast off the line even with launch control engaged. Renault’s 0-100km/h claim of 7.1 seconds is not only optimistic, it’s well behind MOTOR’s best of 6.37sec in the lighter Golf. Nonetheless, the engine sounds characterful through the mid-range and feels boosty and brisk. The auto is impressively intuitive, slickly rushing through its seven playing cards when in Sport-auto or using the paddles, which is a welcome change after the horrible Clio RS unit. Tight, sharp and nimble steering is another highlight aided by the 4CONTROL system that points the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts (below 80km/h in Sport).

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STAR RATING

3.5 Like

Great steering and ride; good handling; stylish

Dislike Feels heavy off the line; expensive; no manual

The Megane GT flaunted its Sporttuned suspension over an extremely bumpy northern NSW route, feeling poised and disciplined. Its refinement and power-down – despite the lack of a limited-slip diff – shames its 162kW manual-only Megane GT220 predecessor. This new model is now $2500 more expensive, however, and its arrival coincides with that of other rivals, the 147kW/300Nm Holden Astra RS and 150kW/265Nm Hyundai Elantra SR, both of which start from under $30K. It is an expensive starter, but this Renault is also a tasty preview before the GT flips to RS – amusing, but butch, rather than bouche. M


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INTERVIEW Hyundai's performance car boss by M O T O R S T A F F

Having A Crack

Hyundai's hired the man who put the mongrel into BMW's current M3 to build fun, cheap, track-durable gadgets

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HIS BLOKE has said too much, but he’s not about to disappear – not when you’re the boss. Cheerful German Albert Biermann, once head honcho at BMW M Division and responsible for cars like the current M3 and M4, is now spending a little more time down Korea way these days. And he has the swagger of someone firmly in charge and knowing what they want. Hyundai’s hired Biermann to give its cars some proper balls. None of this half-baked warm hatch malarkey – the mysteriouslydubbed upcoming N Division is writing big cheques and making all the right noises. And it sounds to us like punters playing in the sub-$50K market are about to get even more spoiled. We’re chatting to Biermann at the Paris Motor Show, MOTOR scoring an audience along with about half a dozen other Aussie motoring journos. And Biermann is giving away dots, in close, easy-to-join proximity. We didn’t know much about the upcoming i30 N hot hatch but now we know so much we’re having to temper expectations. First, it will be front-drive with a proper mechanical LSD – “the real thing,” smiles Biermann. Initially it will be manual only but there’s talk of potentially an eight-speed wet dual-clutch 'box down the track. The i30 N will have a bespoke front axle presumably to handle the extra Hyundai is having grunt. It will have more lenient, sport ESP a big crack at WRC settings. And we are almost imagining the glory next year. Toyota 86 of hot hatches – not necessarily "[The programs the fastest gadget around, but it must are] linked intensely," says be fun, must withstand a scalding on a Biermann. "Many racetrack and it must be cheap. things our Korean “I’m not so much excited about zero engineers learn to 100,” admits Biermann. “I’m looking from the WRC."

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more how is it driving on the track and how much fun is it to drive on some nice winding road.” “I gave clear directions,” Biermann adds. “This car has to be track-going, and very enjoyable. Pushing it to the limit, it has to be consistent on the track, and not just die after two laps, the tyres and the brakes and everything, and that’s what it is, we just make the car what we think is our strategy." “It has to be consistent, it has to have good quality, like every other Hyundai – yeah? This is what we stand for. And it has to be affordable, like any other Hyundai. So it will have a strong value for money point, and it will have very good quality, and it will be very robust so you can really push it on the circuit. “And of course, it will be fast, yeah – it might not be perfect in some area, but I don’t care. I mean, first of all it’s about the fun, and enjoyable, tossing it around.” So the i30 N will concede some outright pace for affordability but it must be fun and have on-track stamina. And there will apparently be two versions of the i30 N – one built for weekdays, and one built for weekends. “The customer has a choice,” Biermann explains. “If you want to go a little more wild, more track-focused – or more road-focused.” All music to MOTOR’s ears but we confess we have a feeling of wanting to see it before we believe it. We’ve been here many times before – car company crows A, we drive it only to find B. But Biermann is keen to stress that the N cars are nothing like the tepid SR-branded Hyundais we’ve seen in Australia – and he comes back to the track thing again. “The key difference is the high performance cars are really developed for racetrack driving,” says Biermann. “You can take them out on the racetrack. And you can just drive it, brake. They can survive. The sports models, they cannot survive on the track. They can survive one or two or three laps, depending on you, maybe three, that’s it.” So we’ve established that much: the i30 N is coming and it sounds like it’ll deliver the goods. But what about after that? Biermann basically confesses Hyundai is working on multiple new N products. And in our group discussion with Australians, the inevitable question comes up: will we see an N version of a V8 rear-driver? (Please say yes, please say yes,

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BIERMANN ON... Drift Mode "It’s still a front-wheel drive car but I am thinking about it!"

Electrification "Right now in this first step of cars there is no electrification. But we are ready for [it] whenever the customer [asks], or when it’s needed to meet some regulations."

Local tuning "[There will be] no tuning for Australia. But we will invite Australian engineers to join us. This car will all be tuned in Nurburgring – that’s it, period."

Real LSDs "[We are not going to use] torque vectoring by brake. This is the real thing. Just electronically controlled."

Fast SUVs "They are not so much sophisticated as the coupes and the sedans. A little bit later we might make [one], but there’s no plan now. I would love to make a really hot Tucson, but nobody wants this."

please say yes…) “We have a V8,” confirms Biermann with a notparticularly-promising puzzled expression. But he neither opens nor closes the door to a V8 N car. “I think we can continue for some time with the V8. It’s a nice engine. I don’t know if you could ever [give it a] makeover but, it could also happen. In this luxury segment, in the Genesis in the US, it’s a good situation to have a V8 in our G90. I think the V8 does a good job. I mean I personally like more the 3.3 turbo…” “N is for all Hyundai,” says Biermann. “But that’s it, not for Genesis. I’m not saying there can be no highperformance car for Genesis, but if there was one, it was not an N, it would be something different. But at this point, there is no name, nothing for Genesis.” Okay, what about the RN30 concept car – the gullwing-doored track concept as seen at the Paris show? Surely that’s hinting at Hyundai’s own roadgoing A45 AMG fighter – presumably for much less coin. But Biermann, with a pragmatic air, stresses N Division must walk before it can run. “We have a test car with exactly that performance (280kW and all-wheel drive), and all the driving eLSD and all this stuff, but this is just advanced prototype,” he says. “So this is not close to any production, mass production or something. But then we [do] have cars testing already at Namyang with that technology in there.” “But there’s no decision, not even close yet to decide about it,” says Biermann separately. “Technically we are getting closer and closer but, you have to understand – we come [to] this point from like almost nowhere, yeah? So we decided to go into the C-segment and make a high performance car and that will be the i30-based high performance car that will be launched next year. And that is not on the upmost level of high-performance [in the] segment. So that is some ‘mid-area’ of high performance in that C-segment, so… I think such a high-power car, this is just too much to put this out now.” Boo. If anything, Biermann hints, it’s cars like the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTI that should be looking over their shoulders – and an i20 N makes sense given it’s the car Hyundai has based its 2017 WRC challenger off. “As A you know there is a whole lot of nice hot hatches out in the B-segment, so maybe at some point we might decide at some point to go there, but there is yet.” no decision d nd we can’t help but ask, but what about the poor An old Veloster? V Ah yeah, I love it. It’s one of my favourites. It’s “A eally characterful car. And yeah, it’s one of my a re ourites, I like it a lot. Not the way it’s driving now, favo but it has a lot of potential for the future.” Eiither which way you look at it, until now and n for the next little while, Hyundai has not cut it even at as a performance car manufacturer. But it sounds like they’ve got the right people in the right places and crucially as an organisation, want to inject some azz into the brand by way of some cut-price piza perfformance cars. Watch this space – we will be. M


"[The i30 N] will be very robust so you can really push it on the track ... it's all about the fun"

RN30 concept car (bottom right) hints at a future A45 fighter – not yet confirmed. Hyundai's not been shy to create the odd concept (top)

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TEUTONIC TUSSLE 718 Cayman S vs TT RS

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by G E O R G K A C H E R pics G R E G P A J O

Pursuit It's now an all-turbo affair between these two small German sportsters, but which receives the biggest boost from forced induction?


H

ATE IS the flavour of the day. From Brexit to the US election there’s precious little love around. For petrolheads, turbos are taking the heat, and there’s good reason for it. Saabs blew turbos faster than front tyres, while BMW’s 2002 offering had lag so bad some are still spooling up. We’ve had a lot of time to learn to hate them. Despite these early failings, 40 years later everything has a turbocharger and hardcore car fans are left mourning the demise of natural, pure engine power. I’m part of this group and must confess I wanted to hate Porsche’s new forced-induction four-cylinder boxer engine, which has replaced the free-breathing six in Boxster and Cayman.

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As for Audi, there’s been plenty of criticism of the current ‘don’t worry, mate, I’ve got it’ driver-assist features that are taking over the driving experience. As helpful as they are, ‘sterile’ and ‘artificial’ come to mind when driving these near-perfect yet ice-cold products from Ingolstadt. Not an encouraging start – let’s see what surprises there are in store. Twist the lozenge-shaped Porsche key to start the engine the old-fashioned way and what disappoints is the noise generated behind your back. Expecting a sound worthy of its heritage, I'm instead met with something metallic, oddly reminiscent of a tuned Beetle from way back when with plenty of initial clatter and splutter, followed by a hoarse, uneven and atonal idle. The tune picks up as you add revs – there are 7500 to play with – and the optional extra-loud exhaust system bulks the noise, but ultimately your ears are mainly placated with buzz and rasp. Meanwhile, the Audi's racy steering wheel and big starter button are reminiscent of the R8. Hit that and your neighbours will hate you forever – the explosive hard-rock intro suggests this is the world’s first external combustion engine.


Like the 718 here, the TT RS has the optional hoon exhaust, but when worked the 2.5-litre alloy-block five-cylinder is unexpectedly melodic, so even before we take off the Porsche has some catching up to do on its rival. While the Porsche comes with a six-slot manual, we specced up to the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission to match the only choice in the TT RS. But now you have to forget everything you thought you knew about Caymans. High revs to access the grunt? Nope. From 1900rpm, the single-turbo 2497cc engine dishes up 420Nm and that’s available all the way to 4500rpm. The four-pot boxer offers instant performance thanks to a variablevane wastegate. Even at part-throttle it whips up boost pressure by finding a delicate balance between wastegate aperture, ignition timing and throttle blade position. As a result of this German mechanical ballet, the 16-valver drops the hammer hard as quickly as you can plant your boot on the floor. Audi, under former R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg, developed a low-friction, high-efficiency allaluminium five-cylinder engine that weighs 26kg less than its cast-iron predecessor. Tuned for 298kW in the

TT RS with plenty of headroom, it made the planned 305kW 2.0-litre four redundant. The 2480cc engine boasts an even broader torque band than the Cayman, spreading 480Nm from 1700 to 5850rpm, perfect for any-gear punch – right? Hmmm, coast along at 100km/h, sink the toe in and wait for the S-tronic to change down from fifth to third. Come back turbo lag, all is forgiven! Audi is, however, aware of this problem and will reprogram the software for harder, faster downshifts. Seventh is a highway cruising gear; in Dynamic mode she’ll zoom along in the bottom six ratios. You can slide the shifter across to the manual gate but the steering wheel paddles are much more intuitive.

Does switching to a turbo flat-four reveal a chink in the Cayman's armour that the new supercar-fast TT RS can exploit?

If speed is your drug, this colourful coupe couple will deliver... even on an unrestricted stretch of autobahn d

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The explosive intro of the Audi's 2.5-litre five-pot suggests this is the world's first external combustion engine

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The Porsche catches up here; we have nothing but praise for the PDK fitted to the 718. Sport or Sport Plus modes change the shift pattern more dramatically than the TT RS. It’s all to do with how long to hold the gears, how to time shifts and how to best manage the power and torque flow. With the Sport Chrono pack, the Cayman S features a Sport Response button in the middle of the drive mode selector. Push it prior to a tight overtaking move and the drivetrain switches to high alert for the next 20 seconds. There’s also a coasting mode that automatically decouples the engine under trailing throttle. As a means of transport, the TT RS is a nicer place to be. Where the Porsche has a firewall, the Audi has (admittedly token) seats that can be folded to increase luggage space from 305 to 712 litres. Sporting more head and legroom, easier-to-use controls and a more stylish cockpit with more modern materials, the TT RS also comes with quattro, S-tronic and 19-inch wheels, though our test car sports the optional 20s. Porsche makes you pay extra for the dual-clutch transmission and decent-size footwear. We don’t have a local list price on the TT RS yet but we’re expecting around $145K, very similar to the Cayman S. The TT RS gives away only two tenths in the 0-100km/h sprint to its R8 V10 big brother, which is more than double the price. Over at Porsche, the 718 is a match for the 50 per cent costlier 911 Carrera; the


days when you could pick a winner from the number of cylinders and the displacement are over. If speed is your drug, this colourful couple will deliver – you’re almost always going too fast on empty roads; even on an unrestricted stretch of autobahn, the fast lane was rarely clear enough to max them out. The Audi is normally held to 250km/h but we had an extra-cost optional 280km/h limit, and even at that speed there was some urge left. Officially, the Cayman S will do 286km/h; we saw an indicated 300km/h moments before a holidaymaker pulled out without indicating and introduced us to another difference between the two cars. Slamming on the Cayman’s brakes was reassuring but couldn’t match the mind-boggling time-travel effect of the TT RS’s carbon-ceramic front stoppers. You can get optional compound anchors on the Porsche, though price-wise I can’t decide between the brakes or a beach house. But picking at the differences isn’t the answer. It’s simpler than that; the Porsche is a sports car, the Audi is a sporty car. In the 718, you sit close to the road, the roof is only 1284mm above the tarmac (1264mm with PASM in Sport plus). With the roof a full 60mm loftier, the TT RS is easier to get in and out of, and more relaxed behind the wheel. The Audi – despite the red stitching, fancy instruments and the fixed wing – is clearly more A3 than R8.

What splits the pair dynamically is the steering. The Cayman S uses the same rack as the 911 Turbo, one of the most satisfying man-machine interfaces around. The TT RS benefits from a variation of the MQB steering, with three different settings labelled Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. It’s the best R&D could do but it scores only 7.5/10 from me for total immersion, where the Cayman scores a solid 10. The Audi is one of the easiest cars to drive fast irrespective of road and surface. Instead of bothering you with too much information, it’s a sublime filter with a twist. The steering is slightly over-damped, over-assisted and over-eager to step in. It seems to have a life of its own, and its mission is to absorb or enhance, depending on the situation. With torque vectoring, for example, it will miraculously pull the car straight at the exit of a bend or under hard braking into a downhill corner. No big deal perhaps, but a committed driver is reluctant to accept any intervention, unless we’re talking true life-savers like ABS or ESP. Once again this is Audi struggling to fuse maximum active safety with total involvement. The Porsche provides more freedom. It still inspires confidence despite the longer leash, and has been engineered for absolute interaction. The steering follows the tarmac with rare accuracy, even though this set-up implies a certain degree of vibration will find its way back to your hands.

With quattro allwheel drive, the Audi defiantly sticks to the road, irrespective of the conditions or the driver's skill level


Inside look A case of tradition vs technology

AS EVER, the interior is one of the Audi's strongest features. The materials used, the fit and finish and the neat design touches, such as the digital temperature readouts in the centre of the air vents or diamond-quilted leather seats, make it look and feel expensive. Customisable digital instrument display

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(dubbed Virtual Cockpit) is clever and seems like a good idea on paper, however in reality it takes your gaze away from the road for longer than the traditional centre screen, particularly when following satnav instructions. The Porsche is the more traditional, feels every bit built as well, but lacks

the high-end flash of the TT RS. New touchscreen infotainment is one of the slickest systems around, driving position is absolutely perfect and the optional (but should be standard) GT Sport steering wheel is a delight. Porsche has the perfect workstation, but the Audi wins on wow factor.


But because the communication is clear, you always know exactly what the car is doing and what it’ll do next. Here’s the nub: Porsche still champions fixed steering calibration over variable-this-orthat gadgetry. That one parameter can make all the difference to the driving experience. The main active-safety system in the Audi is quattro, and in foul weather, on slippery roads, a hardcharging TT RS would remain relatively unperturbed while the Cayman S driver would be furrowing their brow in concentration. Does active safety make your heart beat faster? Probably not. Does it make the drive home less challenging? Absolutely. Click the thumbwheel from Comfort to Sport, and the Porsche flexes its muscles. Nudge it a notch further to Sport Plus, and the car prepares itself for a day at the track. Your best bet is probably Individual – here you can, for example, blend compliant dampers with a faster shift and more eager throttle response. Or dial in PSM Sport which, on cold tyres, is almost as exciting as PSM Off. If you want to push your limits and test your driving ability at the edge, the 718 is the better tool for the job. It’s simply more tactile, provides feedback in abundance, coaches you through the tricky bits with subtle body language, and gives you space before stepping in. If you want to

sample the handling spectrum from mild understeer to wild oversteer, the Cayman will happily play along. It’s a classic case of challenge followed by instant reward – or punishment. Still, the Audi is the quicker A-to-B car on certain days. Its trick driveline now boasts wheel-selective torque delivery. Combine that with the phenomenal cornering grip of the 20in Pirelli P Zeros and in Dynamic mode the Audi shunts grunt to the rear wheels in the blink of an eye. Through fast sweepers, the TT RS is surreally fast, poised and grounded. Where ripples and grooves start to annoy the Porsche, the Audi continues – focused and unswerving. As noted, even with the four-piston front brakes from the 911, the Cayman can’t quite match the stopping power of a TT RS with carbon-ceramic rotors. Another four-ring coupe forte is the sprint against the stopwatch. With quattro, launch control

Audi the clear winner in a straight line, its extra 37kW/60Nm delivering a 0.5sec advantage from 0-100km/h – 3.7sec plays 4.2sec

The 718 is simply more tactile. It's a case of challenge followed by instant reward – or punishment d

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Box tick

Clutches galore

PORSCHE’S PDK is almost beyond reproach, especially now the manual shift orientation is the right way around, but Audi's latest effort is very impressive, with only the occasional reluctance to downshift spoiling the fun.

BODY DRIVE ENGINE BORE/STROKE COMPRESSION POWER TORQUE POWER/WEIGHT TRANSMISSION WEIGHT SUSPENSION (F) SUSPENSION (R) L/W/H WHEELBASE TRACKS STEERING BRAKES (F) BRAKES (R) WHEELS TYRE SIZES TYRE PRICE PROS CONS

STAR RATING

and an extra 60Nm, it makes the Porsche’s 4.2sec 0-100km/h seem tame, surging ahead at just 3.7sec – that’s AMG GT-S and M6 territory. However, the handling balance costs the Audi dearly. Turn-in isn’t quite as eager, and it’ll eventually understeer if you’re exploring ten-tenths cornering. On our zig-zag roller-coaster test route, the TT RS started with a tyre pressure of 33psi all around. About 40 minutes later, rubber melting and brakes smoking, the readouts were 48psi front and 37psi rear. Sure, we could have played with pressures, but then Audi could have set the car up with a more adventurous torque split, as Ford did for the remarkable RS. After all,

PORSCHE 718 CAYMAN S

AUDI TT RS

2-door, 2-seat coupe rear-wheel 2497cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo 102.0 x 76.4mm 9.5:1 257kW @ 6500rpm 420Nm @ 1900-4500rpm 186kW/tonne 7-speed dual-clutch 1385kg struts, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar struts, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar 4379/1801/1284mm 2475mm 1515/1540mm (f/r) electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion 330mm drilled ventilated discs, 4-piston calipers 299mm drilled ventilated discs, 4-piston calipers 20.0 x 8.0-inch (f), 20.0 x 10.0-inch (r) 235/35 ZR20 (f); 265/30 ZR20 (r) Pirelli P Zero $143,400 Dynamically almost perfect; now very fast Engine struggles sonically; pricey with options

2-door, 2+2-seat coupe all-wheel 2480cc inline-5, DOHC, 20v, turbo 82.5 x 92.8mm 10:1 294kW @ 5850rpm 480Nm @ 1700-5850rpm 174kW/tonne 7-speed dual-clutch 1440kg struts, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar multi-links, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar 4191/1832/1344mm 2505mm 1564/1543mm (f/r) electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion 370mm ventilated discs, 8-piston calipers 310mm ventilated discs, single-piston caliper 20.0 x 9.0-inch (f), 20.0 x 10.0-inch (r) 255/30 ZR20 (f); 265/35 ZR20 (r) Pirelli P Zero $145,000 (estimate) Outrageous pace; engine noise; accessibility Can't match the Cayman for handling or fun

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The Audi scores higher on an emotional level thanks to its five-pot engine, but can't match the Porsche's dynamic brilliance

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truly fast cornering requires a predominantly neutral attitude that stretches a bit either way when required. On paper, these two have a lot in common. On the road, however, they display quite different qualities. The TT RS wears a flash and aggressive outfit, and it delivers when pushed, its dynamic potential remarkably accessible. The 718 Cayman S is a more complete car than last year’s GTS, and it ticks all the critical boxes, moving another step closer to the iconic 911. Despite the paradigm shift to the turbocharged flat four and my secret desire to hate it on that basis, this is the more emotional choice, the more engaging drive, the sole proper sports car. M

The 718 Cayman S ticks all the critical boxes, moving another step closer to the iconic 911

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FIRST ENCOUNTER SECRETS REVEALED Bugatti New Honda ChironCivic Type R

CIVIC DUTY 54

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by P H I L M C N A M A R A pics W I L S O N H E N N E S S Y

Honda's next-gen Civic Type R promises ball-tearing turbo performance – and, crucially, it's coming to a twisty road near you

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HILE THE last Civic Type R had to make the best of a flawed package, the latest offering, based off the tech-laden 10th-generation Civic, is clearly Honda trying to make amends. Honda has thrown everything it’s got at the 10th-generation of its family car, pooling three global body styles under one team, deploying one-third of their entire R&D resource in the largest single development program in Honda history. Whilst sales of the regular petrol and diesel variants won’t begin until early 2017, Honda is readying us for the pinnacle of its race-bred Civics so far – the Type R. First, the performance prototype was tested on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where today’s FK2 Type R claimed the hot hatch lap record in 2014. It then re-emerged in Spain for hot weather durability testing. Then, two months ago, executives unveiled a concept at the Paris motor show. Enigmatically, the company gave away scant information however we’ve been hot on the trail of the most potent Type R to date. Next year will mark 25 years of Honda’s Type R performance brand with the fifth-generation hot Civic being unleashed. Not that Honda Europe’s chief operating officer Katsushi Inoue was forthcoming about the precise release date when asked at the unveiling of the standard Civic. “You mean Type R?” he exclaimed, hooting with laughter. “We are thinking about it. In the lifecycle it comes... It won't be long”. Honda did admit that the Type R would be on sale late 2017, reassuring news given its slothfulness in launching the recent NSX. Of course, any arrival date is better than none at all, which has been the case locally with the current Civic Type R. But credit to Honda Australia, the next one is inbound – manual only, and for around $50,000. When it lands sometime presumably late next year, the VW Golf GTI Performance and Peugeot 308 GTi 270 in particular better be ready. The concept and the prototypes give a clear indication of the Type R. Principal designer Daisuke Tsutamori says the aggressive look of the ‘ultimate’ Civic is shaped by function. “I call it the war machine,”

he says. “Inspiration comes from jet fighters.” But the real technical advances that make us very, very excited about the next-gen Type R are under the skin. It starts with the philosophy that everything is geared to making the new Civic brilliant to drive. “The highlight is, always will be, dynamic performance, the feeling of how the car drives,” says Mitsuru Kariya, chief engineer for the entire project. The 10th-generation Civic debuts new architecture, which is lighter, stiffer and has a 10mm lower centre of gravity. Rigidity is up 52 per cent. The body shell is said to be 16kg lighter in a car that’s significantly longer than the outgoing model. This rigid platform provides a solid base to mount the suspension with precise dynamic responses. The Civic uses MacPherson struts up front and hydraulic compliance bushings at both ends to quell noise and vibration – an Achilles heel of the ninthgeneration Civic. Honda didn’t leave out the rear of the car where there’s a significant development: the Civic finally switches to multi-link independent suspension, just like higher performance versions of its engineering yardsticks – the Audi A3 and VW Golf. “The A3 is really dynamic: you can drive very

"I call it the war machine. Inspiration comes from jet fighters" 56

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Honda engineers designed the menacing body kit in order to generate the maximum amount of downforce – just take it easy over speed bumps


Lap Dancers A history of bum-dragger 'Ring records

RENAULT SPORT MEGANE RS265 8:07.97sec June 2011

SEAT LEON CUPRA 280 7:58.44sec March 2014

RENAULT SPORT MEGANE TROPHY 7:54.36sec May 2014

HONDA CIVIC TYPE R (FK2) 7:50.63sec May 2014

VW GOLF GTI CLUBSPORT S 7:49.21sec APRIL 2016

QUICKER round the ’Ring than a Honda NSX-R and still an alltime hot hatch great, the 265’s time stood for three years. The previous record holder? Another hardcore Megane, the R26R.

Electronic diff and 206kW helped Seat chop nearly 10sec from Renault’s record. WTCC helm Jordi Gené did the not-lifting. Yumps upset the ABS and meant he didn’t always have brakes.

Renault pushed its diamond-shaped nose back into joint using a Megane sans rear seats, air-con or much sound deadening. Trophy-R one of the least usable but most exciting hot hatches ever.

As with all ‘production car’ lap times there’s some debate around this one. Honda used a prototype Civic Type R with the weight of the cage offset by the deletion of aircon and rear seats.

Unable to match the Type R in a line, the super-Golf made up for lost time in the corners thanks to neutral handling, clever damping and driver Benny Leuchter’s kerbhopping prowess.

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5 little things: 2017 Civic Type R Tech truth and some spec-ulation MANUAL ONLY

SCOOPING AIR

LOTS OF WOAH

BEAM ME OUT

ALL-PAW? NOPE

2017 Type R will retain current car’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder VTEC unit, which today produces 228kW and 400Nm of torque. No sign of a dual-clutch ’box, so a six-speed manual is nailed on. Frantic shifting a Type R rite of passage.

Turbocharging key to meeting Type R’s goals (and towering specific output), hence the intercooler scoop. But could previous monoscroll turbocharger make way for twin sequential blowers?

Huge vents lurk in the flared arches behind the 20-inch front wheels, to help scavenge hot air from the wheel wells and cool the big Brembo brakes – with their four-piston calipers and drilled and ventilated discs.

Previous Type R’s torsion beam junked for multilink independent suspension, just like Audi’s A3. Engineering makes for ‘more stability and higher cornering speeds’.

Post-Focus RS it’s the question we all asked, but a all-paw Civic Type R isn’t happening. ‘It was never an option – even in America there’s no big demand for it,’ says the chief engineer. Clearly, we didn’t demand it loudly enough.

"Proper drivers know it's all about driveability, and we're proud of how the Type R feels" fast with great confidence,” says Kariya-san. “That driving performance was the main point we wanted to benchmark.” “We’d really hit the limit of the torsion bar,” he adds. “With independent suspension the ride comfort and handling increases. With the highly responsive rear suspension, you have much more stability and much higher cornering speeds are achievable.” The 30mm broader platform also provides an increased footprint to boost balance, enhanced by sticky Continental Sport Contact 6 rubber on the concept’s 20-inch rims. All of which sounds promising for the new Type R. The regular Sport can be specified with adaptive damping and the Type R is sure to employ this, hopefully providing a broader spread of ride settings than today’s car. The hot hatch’s body will naturally be lowered, confirms designer Tsutamori-san. As its flared wheel arches show, the front track has to be wider still to cope with the Type R’s power. The Brembo brakes, with at least four-piston calipers and massive drilled and ventilated discs, will be cooled via vents behind the front wheel. The revised bodywork is all shaped by function “in the pursuit of

dynamic performance,” promises Tsutamori-san. It also features a bonnet scoop, presumably to keep the intercooler operating coolly. The new hyper hatch will continue to use forced induction. Indeed all the petrol Civics – including the 95kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 133kW 1.5-litre four volume models – employ a turbo and VTEC variable valve timing and the flagship hatch won’t be any different. “For the Type R, it will be a 2.0-litre turbo, the current one,” confirms Kariya-san. Eminently sensible: it wouldn't make much commercial sense for Honda to junk a new, high-performance engine after just a couple of years’ use. In today’s Type R, the 2.0-litre VTEC unit generates peak power of 228kW at 6500rpm, with max torque of 400Nm claimed to rush in at 2500rpm. Of course that's double the torque of the FN2 Civic Type R’s naturally aspirated engine at half the crank speed. On the road, the FK2 still suffered from a distinct spot of lag before the lunacy launched at around 3000rpm. Why not switch from a mono-scroll turbocharger to twin sequential turbos? Kariya-san chuckles at the question. “All we can say is that we are trying to create a Type R which is easy to drive but still powerful. We

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"The highlight is – always will be – the dynamic performance, the feeling of how the car drives," says Mitsuru Kariya, Chief Engineer

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NERVE CENTRE Central colour touchscreen features new-age ‘Honda Connect’ infotainment, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Phone, maps, messages, music – there’s not much you can’t do through here, including checking your reversing camera (which you’ll need with Type R’s be-winged tail)

SCREEN PLAY New TFT instruments replace previous analogue clocks. Type R repatriates digital speedo from its exile in old car’s ‘floating’ upper binnacle, and plonks it back in the driver’s face. Type R steering wheel destined for lurid two-tone leather

STICK SHIFT Gearshift has been slowly making its way down the centre stack since the lastbut-one Civic. Has now arrived to a hero’s welcome in the traditional spot. While it was away, the handbrake has become electronic

In pics: The Rise of Type R

From '89 to today, hot Hondas through the ages

THE FIRST Type R is still years away but 1990 sees the first fruits of Honda getting serious about performance with the NSX supercar. Six years in development and with input from Mr Senna, even this work of art isn’t enough. Plans are hatched for a hotter version.

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Ditching road car compromise in favour of track ability, the Japanese market gets the first NSX Type R. It ditches 120kg of frippery and adds chassis bracing and stiffer suspension, plus bespoke delights like a blueprinted crankshaft. The rest of the world gazes on, jealously.

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DC2 Integra g Type yp R one of the most extreme front-wheel drive cars ever built, combining a 141kW 1.8 VTEC unit with a strengthened body, a helical LSD and stiffer suspension. We say: "Synthesises race-car elements for the road: rev lunacy, fetishistic steering and braking precision."

Successful but limitednumber Integra begets the production Civic Type R. A smaller but equally highly-strung VTEC unit squeezes 136kW from 1.6 litres, with the same shellstiffening and weightsaving tweaks. A very rare sight in Australia, though popular in motorsport.

Just a year later the Type R brand goes civilised. Sort of. European markets receive a hot Accord with more helical LSD goodness and a larger 2.2-litre VTEC engine that could still hit 8000rpm. Pensioners unwilling to stray beyond 4000rpm don’t notice.


need to leave the rest to your imagination.” Power will continue to be transmitted by today’s six-speed manual gearbox with its tightly-packed ratios. There’s no indication of a dual-clutch gearbox for the Civic: the announced automated option for the volume models is a CVT, although Kariya-san hastily adds that he’s tried to head-off the typical thrashing by making the cooking engines tractable at low revs. Fair play, but enthusiasts will always want to wind out a Honda engine despite the latest units having redlines pegged below the 8400rpm nirvana of Type R yesteryear. Time for the big question: given that the Ford Focus RS has switched to all-wheel drive to deploy its monstrous 257kW and 470Nm of power, aren’t four driven wheels the baseline for a top hatch these days? Audi and Mercedes-AMG would certainly agree, as they battle in a power war in which only breaking the 300kW barrier will signal victory. I propose the all-wheel drive RS example to Honda Europe chief Katsushi Inoue. “There are so many rivals! But the Type R will be competitive. Our hot hatches haven’t been that bad, have they?” he laughs. “We will be up with them on performance.” So will Honda be delivering Focus RS power levels? “We are focusing on total driveability,” Inoue-san answers. “I’ve driven a prototype. Do we need more power? It’s attractive as a headline for the showroom, but proper drivers like you know it’s about driveability. And we’re proud of how the Type R feels.” So while die-hard fans may always clamour for more power, the next-gen Type R has more than

enough go under the bonnet for a 5.7sec sprint to 100km/h – a respectable figure no matter how you look at it. All-wheel drive would help it get off the line faster, but engineer Kariya-san refutes this. “Allwheel drive was never an option and was also not considered within the platform design. Even in the American market, there is no big demand for allwheel drive.” So it looks we’ll have to make do with traction via a limited-slip differential. Also working to keep the tyres in contact with the tarmac will be a host of aerodynamic aids. The outrageous rear wing is retained and Honda has strived to make the underbody as flat as possible in order to generate downforce. Principal designer Tsutamori-san confirms the kit’s focus is to boost cornering speed at the expense of terminal velocity. “We’ve paid more attention to downforce, reducing

The 2017 Type R is all about thrills and attracting new blood

Suzuka meets Swindon with the UK-built EP3 Civic Type R – still regarded by some as the best Type R Civic ever. K20 VTEC unit sparkles with endless revs and a gear lever mounted so high it experiences occasional snowfall. Chassis keen on sideways liftoff antics.

After five years of automotive bliss, Honda’s regional divides get in the way. The home market gets the lunacy of the fourdoor FD2 Civic with 166kW at 8400rpm from 2.0 litres, a wing to make Lockheed blush and – crucially – independent rear suspension.

A year later the thirdgeneration Civic Type R appears with a solitary additional horsepower, a bigger ass and a cheaper, less responsive torsion beam rear axle. First Type R to officially be offered locally, but fails to make an impact against the best hot hatches of the day.

A a final salute to the As K K20 engine, a score of Mugen-tweaked Civic Type Rs are produced, four of which were bored and stroked to 2.2 litres and 191kW, fed through a front limited-slip differential. Wild, rare and hugely expensive (equivalent of $65K) it’s the wildest Type R until…

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Honda goes into hibernation following the post-Fukushima global slowdown but emerges with the mighty FK2; the first turbocharged Type R and the first to offer over 224kW. Stiff, manic and happy to steer from the rear. We say: ‘Wildlooking yet polished fun to drive.’

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"I'm not happy with second position. That's all I can say" lift, than to the coefficient of drag.” The three central exhausts – reminiscent of the triple bores at the back of the Ferrari F40 and 458 – reduce back pressure, boost flow and sound as thunderous as a four-cylinder turbo can. The 2.0-litre engine is shipped from the States to the Civic production facility in Swindon, UK, where the Type R will go down the same line as its hatch, sedan and coupe siblings. While the concept’s carbon fibre exterior is just a wrap, expect composite inserts to make an appearance inside. The driver’s seat in today’s Type R is more high chair than lowered bucket, but the new-generation Civic will make amends. You can crank it lower than Daniel Ricciardo’s resting heart rate, looking out over the dropped dashboard to help you place the car precisely on the road. The Civic’s fuel tank used to be under the front seat, so that the rear seat bases could fold up giving you extra stowage: the driving position might have been useless, but it was the only hot hatch in which you could carry an upright pot plant around the Nürburgring. Regardless, relocating the tank to under the rear seats creates a virtuous circle, topped off by the roofline sitting 20mm lower. Some of the old Civic’s other cockpit quirks have been ironed out. The dislocated digital speedo has been repatriated in a TFT instrument panel where you can scroll through functions using wheel-mounted

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"With the 10th generation, we want to get hold of younger customers again," says European Chief Operating Officer Katsushi Inoue

controls. There’s also a central touchscreen, a sliding armrest and cup holders atop generous hidden stowage, and a wireless mobile charging cubbyhole. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. To further hamper the weight distribution for a ’Ring attack, you could stick an esky in a 478-litre boot claimed to be biggest in class. But enough of those pesky practicalities – the 2017 Type R is all about excitement, thrills, and attracting new blood. “With the 10th generation, we want to get hold of younger customers again,” says Europe chief Inoue-san. “Buyers are getting older globally. The sporty look will hit young people.” Honda admits it dropped the ball with the ninth generation Civic, however the 2017 Civic Type R will be a welcome addition to a landscape traditionally dominated by European hot hatches. One indicator will be if the Type R can establish itself with another blistering performance statement at the Nürburgring. The FK2 Type R posted 7min 50.63sec, before the current champ, the Volkswagen Golf Clubsport S, went 1.42sec faster this summer. “Oh yeah!” enthuses Inoue-san, breaking his traditional Japanese composure. “I can’t tell you about it. The current Type R got the fastest lap record, but now it’s the Golf. I’m not happy about that, I’m not happy with second position. That’s all I can say.” M


THE TOUR Inside Jay Leno's Garage

Talking Shop by G E O R G K A C H E R pics R O B E R T K E R I A N

Having made his fortune as a late-night talk show host, Jay Leno does what we'd all do: spends most of it on cars

VERYONE HAS some notion of what heaven might be like, but car buffs already know it closely resembles the jampacked garage of American TV legend Jay Leno, whose eye-popping collection of drool-worthy machines makes it very hard to avoid the sin of galloping jealousy. Actually, make that turbocharged envy, because the former Tonight Show host’s decades of bringing together the best and rarest things on wheels have built what may well be the world’s most awesome private collection of automotive excellence, excess and, as the lantern-jawed revhead concedes with a smile, motorised eccentricity. The visitor’s first surprise is that the home of these wheeled wonders is anything but wondrous – at least from the outside. Separated by a tall fence from the main runway of Burbank airport, not far from the NBC studios where the comic made his name and his

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fortune, Leno’s pride and joy appears to be nothing more remarkable than a pair of anonymous, pre-fab storage hangars. “My living-room is my garage, so my wife always knows where to find me,” jokes the celebrated gagster as we step inside. Except he’s not really joking. With 275-odd vehicles, including 117 motorcycles, and each and every one street legal, where else would an ardent collector spend every spare moment? “So do tell me, which of these beauties would you like to take out for a spin when the traffic has died down?” Leno wonders. He is the perfect and gracious host – and very much the proud proprietor as he offers a few suggestions about vehicles he thinks it would be fun for me to take for a spin. The 5000-pound Doble steamer – yes, it has a boiler and the pistons in its twin cylinders are driven by water vapour – is his first offering. It is also a chance to observe not only his love of arcane engineering but his mastery of their operation. “Let me demonstrate how the system works,” he says. Without further ado he pulls a lever here, opens a valve there and turns a handwheel or two until the Doble’s barrel-shaped steam generator suddenly comes to life, small orange flames signalling that lift-off is only about 30 seconds away. “This particular vehicle used


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1: HOT OFF THE PRESS Leno was one of the first to receive a production Acura NSX, famously joking with fellow car-crazy comedian Jerry Seinfeld about who would receive the first car built

2: ART DECO The 1936 Cord 810/812 used a 4.8-litre supercharged V8 to power the front wheels through a push-button pre-select transmission. But it was small, expensive and unreliable so less than 2000 were ever built

3: AIR POWER Chrysler built 50 Turbine cars, gave them to 203 families around the world to test for three months – and then destroyed them all. Well, almost all – Leno's is one of just three known to exist

4: READY TO ROLL Leno is a genuine petrol-head, happiest when sharing banter with other rev-heads; all his cars are fuelled, registered and ready to be driven, 24/7, like this 98-year-old Stutz

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A line of Lamborghinis: a Miura P400S, a 1986 Countach 5000 QV and a pair of V12 Espadas

to belong to Howard Hughes, who reportedly maxxed it at 132.5mph (213km/h),” he continues. “They only made about 40 units in total before the company went out of business in 1931.” With a full 24 gallons of water aboard, the red-on-grey four-seater – an E20 model, for the information of those who share Leno’s passion for steam – could cover 1500 miles (2414km) without stopping to take on additional gallons of nature’s elixir, thanks to the innovative condenser Abner Doble perfected to re-use water. If one of his Dobles doesn’t appeal (he owns two of the elegant beasts), would a jaunt in one of his Stanley Steamers tickle my fancy? My heart is set on road-testing another of Leno’s

to roll. Each starts on the button and you won’t find one that isn’t brimmed with fuel and ready for action when he decides which vehicle will be that particular day’s set of wheels. All that’s required, he assures me, is for me to make my selection, then we’ll check its tyre pressures and be on our way. But I’m enjoying the guided tour far too much to cut it short by revealing my choice, so on we go. We pass a pair of Shelby Mustangs, two Corvettes and no fewer than four Duesenberg SJ Titans, which 85 years on, still inspire awe. Those marques are familiar, but what of the Blastolene Special? Leno owns the only one in existence. Powered by the 1600bhp

Leno's delight manifests itself in a blur of gestures, and an ongoing avalanche of fascinating trivia rolling delights, so we move on with the tour. Over there, he says and gestures toward the smaller of the two buildings, is his workshop. There are four hoists and half a dozen full-time mechanics, panel beaters and sparkies beavering away, plus a state-of-the-art 3D printer. When your collection boasts vehicles whose marques, in some cases, have not been seen on the open road in a century or more, spare parts can be hard to track down. That’s where the 3D printer earns its keep. The current job sees it whittling and shaping the shell of a spring-loaded latch needed to bring a recent acquisition up to snuff. All of Leno’s cars are registered, insured and ready

(1193kW) engine from a Patton tank mated to a sixspeed automatic, there is no need to wonder why it is the first, and last, of its tribe. As our tour of what he calls his Big Dog Garage continues, Leno’s delight in his collection manifests itself in a blur of gestures in the direction of this car or that one, an ongoing avalanche of fascinating trivia and, most endearing of all, glimpses of the driving passion that motivates him. The first and most obvious thing about this collector is that he believes cars are not, and never should be, static museum pieces. They are built to be driven, so drive them is what he does. “Every day I’m taking out a different vehicle,” he

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says matter-of-factly, as if the choice between, say, a McLaren P1 and a 1930 Bentley powered by a 27-litre Merlin aircraft engine is as unremarkable as deciding if marmalade or Vegemite better suits that morning’s toast. That his tastes run to the eclectic as much as the exotic was made obvious by his thundering arrival that morning in a late-'60s Monteverdi 375L High Speed, the short-lived Swiss-built touring car whose big-bore American V8 speaks as eloquently of muscle as does the styling of European refinement. The second thing to know is that Leno, unlike other well-heeled auto aficionados, refuses to regard his

By “stuff” he means pretty much everything that moves. Apart from his steam-powered fleet, reflecting the early days of motoring, there is a corner of the hangar dominated by the snaking cords of trickle chargers feeding volts to the comedian’s latest electricpowered fancies, starting with a Tesla Model X. While he waits for me to nominate the car we’ll be taking for a test drive, Leno picks the seven transports of delight he will put through their paces over the week to come. The green Stutz Bearcat is a must for Monday, he decides, recalling how he came to purchase it. “The car belonged to AK Miller, a businessman from Vermont

By one estimate the collection is worth $100 million – by another, three times than sum Tesla who? Over a hundred years ago, this 1914 Detroit Electric car would go 340km on a single charge. It's now fitted with 24kWh batteries from a Nissan Leaf – plus aircon and Bluetooth

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cars as mere investments. They are that and more, of course, appreciating in value with every passing day so that no one seems quite confident in putting a dollar figure on what would be the auction-block value of his entire motorised menagerie. By one estimate his toys are worth $100 million; by another, three times that sum. Pick a number, any number, and it will be entirely irrelevant because Leno almost never parts with a purchase. “No car is for sale unless I auction it off for charity”, he explains, noting that, “I add stuff when I feel like it.”

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who hoarded Stutz cars,” he says. “He made a fortune from gyrocopters, yet he lived in a shack and left a chest full of gold bullion when he passed away.” Next on his to-drive list is a Mercedes 190SL dressed up as Studebaker – or is it a Hawk with a Mercedes front end? Okay, let’s just call it a Mercbaker and marvel at the little-known and seldom-seen model’s story. It was conceived as a desperation measure and sold, but not very often, by Studebaker/Mercedes dealers just before the company went down for the count in 1966. That takes care of Tuesday.


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1: FEATHER DUSTER Before racer Paul Annunziata died, he made sure his 1000hp blown 426ci Plymouth Duster went to a good home. Leno created a scholarship for mechanics in his name by way of payment

2: OLD BY NAME The 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado was GM's ďŹ rst front-driver; Leno's has a twin-turbo Camaro LS6 drivetrain, suspension and rear wheel drive

3: JET POWER This Chrysler Turbine Car power unit makes hens' teeth and rocking horse manure look positively common

4: FATHERLAND Almost every car-making country is well represented, with plenty of Porsches and myriad Mercedes holding up Germany's end

5: DIRTY WORK While Leno's garage employs a full-time staff, Leno isn't afraid of getting his hands dirty himself

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1: ONE OF A KIND Leno's take on a turbine car, the GM Ecojet runs on soybean bio-diesel, uses a helicopter turbine and a Corvette 4-speed auto gearbox

2: DAILY DRIVER Nearly 100 years old, this Stutz Bearcat has been restored three times in the 20 years Leno's had it and it's reliable enough to be driven daily

3: TALLY HO MGTC and MGTD bracket a Daimler SP250 V8. The TD has a 261kW (350hp) V8...

4: HOME MADE Leno was given this unique Indian motorcycle-engined three-wheeler by the original owner nearly 70 years after he built it as a teenager

5: DART BY ANOTHER NAME Daimler's tiny Dart, called SP250 in the US, complete with 2.5-litre V8. Ungaraged for 40 years, it was in surprisingly good shape

6: BRITISH BATTLERS McMerc, Ariel Atom, Lotus Elan and a shy Light Car Co Rocket

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The 1928 Duesenberg picked for Wednesday’s use also happens to be the most expensive Duesy ever to leave the factory. Originally purchased by chemist and industrialist Eli Lily, it had fallen on hard times when Leno heard about it and whipped out his cheque book. It was a battered, low-rent tow-truck when he picked it up, but you would never guess that down-at-heel past from the gleaming, glorious and fully restored specimen on view today. A Lamborghini Miura and a Dodge Challenger R/T, each sprayed bright orange, account for two more days of the week to come. Finally, an extremely rare, alloy-bodied Panhard Dyna Berline and a Wankel-engined Mazda Cosmo coupe

changing, if I can avoid it.” By way of example, one of his proudest modified marvels is 1914 Detroit Electric two-door sedanette fitted with the running gear from a Tesla. You could call it a case of “back to the future”, except that phrase brings to mind the Delorean from the classic movie. Naturally, Leno has a Delorean as well – unmodified for time travel, mind you – and doesn’t hold it in high esteem. “Okay for the movie,” he quips, “but not for much else.” My host’s calloused hands testify that he doesn’t mind getting grease under his fingernails. Every car has its own temperament, foibles and eccentricities, he explains, his tone rather like that of a doting

Modern McLarens, an original F1, one of just 91 ever built, and a MercedesMcLaren, born of the AngloGerman Formula One tryst

That's the thing about Leno – he just likes cars, any car, just so long as it's interesting round out the coming week’s list. It’s one mixed bag, that’s for sure. The diminutive Panhard, for instance, potters around behind an 800cc engine and a mere 42 French horses, while the Challenger exalts in a supercharged 527kW. That’s the thing about Leno – he just likes cars, all cars and any car, just so long as they are interesting. Nor is he a purist when it comes to keeping everything original. Why modify a legendary classic? “To make it driveable in today’s traffic,” he answers. “It’s mainly new carbs, brakes, tyres, a reliable ignition and a gearbox that actually works. Nothing character-

dad describing an enormous brood of idiosyncratic kids. “As you may have gathered by now, I simply love everything mechanical – like this cute Indian 4 microcar designed and built by a 17-year-old kid during the Great Depression. To prove its worth, he drove it from Alaska to San Diego, and nothing broke.” Bob Shotwell – who became a commercial pilot – covered 150,000 miles (241,000km) in his home-built car and gave it to Leno shortly before he died in 2004, because he wanted it restored, not broken up for parts. “And this Stutz,” Leno continues by way of further

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illustration, “is fitted with Bluetooth indicators to make it street-legal. I buy for pleasure, not as an investment, which is why I have no problem tweaking a piece of automotive art to my liking. It’s a passion, pure joy, like a drug.” Leno declines to nominate a favourite, so I hope he will pardon an exercise in intuition if I speculate that his 7.0-litre Ford Galaxie may well be closest to his heart. A meticulous work of painstaking detail, it is a recreation of the Leno family’s very first brand-new car. Then again, sentimentality might be trumped by style. There’s certainly a look of reverence in his eye

of that, plus the fact this model is closely related to the competition version which won 27 NASCAR races in 1952 and was rejuvenated in the Pixar animated movie Cars. The Hornet’s door opens like a vault and the cushy bench seat slides back for comfort. It’s all cabin and almost no windows, a cosy environment clad in dark-green cloth and adorned with plenty of chrome accents. Leno starts the engine, pumps the accelerator, waits a moment until she finds idle, then slides across to watch and advise. Befriending the clutch is easy, but the 5.0-litre

There's a look of reverence in his eye as he takes in a 1932 Packard Twin Six 12-cylinder coupe as he takes in the spectacle of a 1932 Packard Twin Six 12-cylinder coupe. Majestic as an Empire State Building shod with rubber, it towers high and mighty above its hangar neighbours. “So, what’s your favourite car in here?” Leno asks at the completion of our stroll through automotive dreamland. I could have picked something worth seven figures, but opted instead to follow my heart to a light-green over dark-green Hudson Hornet coupe. Why such an exotic choice? Because this Hudson is a truly sensational piece of kit, with an aero-inspired design that matches any Cord for flamboyance and an interior radiating a wonderful sense of occasion. All

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straight six is so torquey that third does the job. Four up and the windows down, we head for the setting sun, cruising along at a light-footed 45mph (72km/h) as I learn the steering and brakes. As it turns out, a firm grip on the wheel and a hard stab at the centre pedal are mandatory, but I soon get the hang of things and the owner begins to relax. Briefly, he invited me to share a little piece of car-buff paradise and is delighted at my obvious enthusiasm. But then, why wouldn’t he be delighted? I am but a humble visitor to his personal petrol-head heaven. He gets to live here and play with these toys every single day. M

The author's favourite, this Hudson Hornet, was bought from the original owner's widow having covered more than 260,000 miles


UBER COUPES M4 Competition vs C63 S Coupe

by S C O T T N E W M A N pics C R I S T I A N B R U N E L L I

Muscle DeďŹ nition V8 or straight-six? For your German muscle car fix it's not as clear cut as it seems

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D Colours for the M3/M4 range are named after famous racetracks, such as Imola Red, Silverstone Metallic and our test car's Austin Yellow

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ETAILS. IT’S supposedly where thedevilresides,andit’scertainly where the differences between the BMW M4 Competition and Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe S lie. What we have here are two fourseat, rear-drive coupes at the top of their respective games. Both are extremely exciting, capable and desirable machines, and though they occupy slightly different vocal ranges, both are singing from largely the same hymn sheet. But this is no primary school sports carnival where everyone wins a prize – there are no participation awards here. You want to know who makes the best high-end Euro sports coupe, so let’s find out. It would be easy to think of these two as merely sleeker, less practical versions of their sedan siblings. Easy, but inaccurate. The AMG in particular is a very different machine in Coupe guise, being wider than the four-door C63 by 64mm at the front and 66mm at the rear. This allowed the front track to be stretched 20mm and the rear 50mm, as well as the fitment of wider wheels and tyres. Aussie C63 Coupes wear sexy staggered rims from the forthcoming AMG GT R as standard, measuring 19 x 9.0 inches front and 20 x 10.5 inches rear (sedan: 19 x 8.5; 19 x 9.5). These are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber, 255/35 ZR19 (front) and 285/30 ZR20 (rear), 10 and 20mm wider respectively than the sedan. Simply put, the C63 Coupe has a much bigger footprint, which is just as well as it weighs a porky 1725kg, 70kg more than the C63 sedan and a whopping 188kg more than the M4. Some of this is due to its reinforced bodyshell, but the wider, stronger multilink rear suspension must also shoulder some of the blame. AMG went all-out on the rear-end of the C63 Coupe, with uniball joints replacing rubber bushings

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for sharper response, stiffer lateral arms to increase traction and a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration. The M4 and M3, on the other hand, are much more closely related. Identical under the skin, the M4 is 23kg lighter and shorter by 7mm in length and 41mm in height, which slightly improves its centre of gravity, but not by enough to make a noticeable difference. What do make a difference are the Competition upgrades, recently introduced as a new model in the M3 and M4 range. BMW is a little vague on the nitty gritty detail, but the Competition scores an extra 10mm of rubber all ’round, its Michelin Pilot Super Sports measuring 265/30 ZR20 front and 285/30 ZR20 rear, as well as an extra 14kW, stiffer springs and dampers, new antiroll bars and a revised calibration for the stability control and electronically-controlled differential. In our experience thus far the changes have done a good job of taming some of the M4’s wayward behaviour without unduly hurting its day-to-day usability. The M4 Competition’s biggest visual change is the adoption of new 20-inch wheels, the ‘666’ design nicked from the hardcore GTS, albeit without the staggered sizing (GTS wears 19s at the front) and thankfully sans the garish orange colouring. A little fussy in photographs, they suit the car very nicely in the metal. To our eyes the M4 lacks the steroidal aggression of the M3 and ‘Austin Yellow’ certainly wouldn’t be our first choice of colour, but overall it’s a good-looking car. We’re not so sure about the C63 Coupe. The front end is great, all ridges and bulges, and the overall shape has plenty of presence, but though the widened rear end is much more muscular than the narrow, upright derriere of the regular C-Class Coupe, it looks a bit saggy and lacks definition, like it’s eaten too much KFC. No such qualms inside. Depending on what you’ve stepped out of, the seat may feel a little high and the backrest only just goes upright enough, but overall the driving position is very good, the materials justify the price tag and there’s even a decent amount of room in the rear, though taller adults will struggle for headroom. One thing most will struggle with, however, is Merc’s COMAND infotainment system. No doubt with a guided tour most functions are easy enough but it’s unintuitive and simple actions like changing the radio station or setting a sat-nav destination are harder than they need to be. In contrast, BMW’s once-maligned iDrive is a piece of cake to use. The M4’s interior lacks the glitz of the AMG but there’s leather galore and lashings of carbonfibre, the driving position is lower and more widely adjustable and there’s easily room for two adults in the rear. Forget two-plus-two, this is a genuine four-seater. Possibly the biggest threat to the M4 Competition’s liveability is its ride quality. This is a very firm car; BMW states the Competition’s damper tune is roughly equivalent to Sport in the standard M4. Personally, it’s just on the right side of acceptable, but its constant


The M4 and C63 Coupe are not just sleeker, less practical versions of their sedan siblings

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Despite giving away 43kW/150Nm on the spec sheet, the BMW is every bit as fast as the Mercedes


transferral of bumps could prove tiresome if you regularly traverse poor roads. Thankfully, the corollary of this stiffness is great body control. The standard M4’s damping can have it pogo-ing over bumps, which can be alarming mid-corner, but the Competition is better behaved, with a couple of provisos. First, the M4 is one of the most sensitive cars to tyre temperature we’ve ever driven. On cold rubber at Haunted Hills (our chosen photography venue), early attempts to flick the car sideways for the camera result in severe understeer as the front tyres refuse to bite into the hotmix. Likewise, trail brake into a corner and the rear can step sideways like you’ve yanked on the handbrake. However, let the rubber generate some heat and the experience transforms. Now the front-end has an almost unshakeable grip on the tarmac; at road speeds understeer simply doesn’t exist and on track you’d have to do something silly to get it to push wide, as usually it’s the rear end that lets go first. The M4’s steering isn’t particularly communicative, and any steering setting other than Comfort just adds unnecessary weight, but it is razor sharp in its accuracy and very fast, with just two turns lockto-lock thanks to its variable-ratio rack. This allows corners to be attacked with confidence while keeping in mind that, with DSC deactivated, the second part of the bend will be all about managing traction. And DSC will need to be deactivated, because unfortunately M has completely dropped the ball in recalibrating the M4’s stability control. BMW boasted that drivers could practically spin the standard car in ‘M Dynamic mode’, but the Competition’s sports DSC setting is so frustratingly conservative that it cuts power dramatically at the slightest hint of wheelspin. This means that to experience even a fraction of the M4 Competition’s ultimate potential drivers are forced to deactivate the electronic safety net, which is a difficult thing to recommend, as in slippery conditions it can be a right handful. Such is the amount of torque the 3.0-litre twin-turbo six produces that on a wet road it’ll easily wheelspin at speeds well in excess of the national speed limit. Even in the dry the M4 has the power to light up its rear tyres with ease and catching it can require swift reactions. So we’re left with a conundrum: leave the overzealous safety net in place and accept that some of the M4’s excellence will remain untapped, or adopt a more cautious approach so as not to be caught out by unexpected conditions. That said, in dry conditions the M4 is awesome, challenging and rewarding with enormous amounts of grip, and to be fair, the ‘M1’ and ‘M2’ buttons on the steering wheel, which allow two favourite combinations of settings to be activated instantly, makes switching between modes extremely quick and easy. However, if the M4 had the C63’s Sports ESP setting, it would be a non-issue entirely. Unlike the BMW, the AMG’s electronics allow plenty of wheelspin and a reasonable degree of lateral movement, while still keeping a weather eye on proceedings. It’s an excellent setting for fast road driving, still requiring driver input to get the best out of the car but flattering any mistakes.

The numbers

Barely a tenth between them BMW M4 Competition 0-10km/h 0.49 0-20km/h 0.97 0-30km/h 1.42 0-40km/h 1.81 0-50km/h 2.22 0-60km/h 2.65 0-70km/h 3.03 0-80km/h 3.43 0-90km/h 3.88 0-100km/h 4.39 0-110km/h 4.99 0-120km/h 5.62 0-130km/h 6.31 0-140km/h 7.06 0-150km/h 7.88 0-160km/h 8.72 0-170km/h 9.71 0-180km/h 10.79 0-190km/h 11.98 0-200km/h 13.32 0-400m 12.38sec @ 193.31km/h 80-120km/h 2.3sec 100-0km/h 33.93m SPEED IN GEARS 1st: 56km/h @ 7300rpm 2nd: 104km/h @ 7300rpm 3rd: 159km/h @ 7300rpm 4th: 211km/h @ 7300rpm 5th: 250km/h @ 6750rpm* 6th: 250km/h @ 5700rpm* 7th: 250km/h @ 4540rpm*

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe 0-10km/h 0.51 0-20km/h 1.01 0-30km/h 1.47 0-40km/h 1.93 0-50km/h 2.35 0-60km/h 2.75 0-70km/h 3.16 0-80km/h 3.56 0-90km/h 4.03 0-100km/h 4.56 0-110km/h 5.13 0-120km/h 5.74 0-130km/h 6.40 0-140km/h 7.16 0-150km/h 8.02 0-160km/h 8.90 0-170km/h 9.84 0-180km/h 10.87 0-190km/h 11.99 0-200km/h 13.27 0-400m 12.48sec @ 194.10km/h 80-120km/h 2.2sec 100-0km/h 34.35m SPEED IN GEARS 1st: 62km/h @ 6500rpm 2nd: 95km/h @ 6500rpm 3rd: 142km/h @ 6500rpm 4th: 198km/h @ 6500rpm 5th: 272km/h @ 6500rpm 6th: 290km/h @ 5680rpm* 7th: 290km/h @ 5070rpm*

As tested by MOTOR: Heathcote Dragway, 11:14am, 15 degrees, dry. Driver: Scott Newman *Manufacturer’s claim

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Black badging and '666' 20-inch wheels are Competition giveaways; twin-turbo engine revs strongly right to the 7500rpm redline

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Pumped guards and wider track give the C63's front-end plenty of aggression, but things aren't so successful at the other end

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As you’d expect given the almost-200kg weight penalty, the C63 does feel heavier and less agile than the M4, however it counters with more communicative fixed-rate steering, greater predictability at the limit and smoother transitions to over and understeer should you exceed it. Like the BMW, however, driving the car sans electronics does reveal new layers to its personality. When you get back on the throttle mid-corner in the C63 it rotates sharply, which appears to be a function of the electronic diff sending more power to the loaded outside rear wheel. Initially it makes the car feel edgy, like it’s falling into oversteer, but with ESP off it becomes clear there’s still plenty of traction available and it’s just straightening the car for corner exit, important when there’s 700Nm of torque on tap. As you’d expect with this much grunt, the C63 will haze its rear tyres all day long, but it’s actually more rewarding a step back from this, using the throttle to help steer the car and exit corners in subtle drifts rather than tyre-smoking slides. It feels lighter than its claimed 1725kg and the optional carbon-ceramic front brakes are awesome. They’re expensive at $9900, but Mercedes claims significantly decreased wear rates, so they’re worth considering for either car. At $15,000 on the M3/M4, they are a bigger investment, but you do get them at both ends as opposed to just the fronts on the C63. The biggest question mark with the C63 Coupe is, is it too hardcore for its own good? Anyone in the market for a traditional fast, comfortable Mercedes coupe is likely to find the C63 too much, as Tobias Moers and his team have clearly been given carte blanche to build a monster. The ride is very firm, though like the BMW just on the right side of acceptable in Comfort mode, but the removal of most of the rubber bushings

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from the rear end means the car feels extremely rigid. You can feel the car buzzing slightly as you drive along, which is a good thing in terms of feeling connected to the machine, but doesn’t do much for the Merc’s refinement levels, and there’s the odd creak and thud as road impacts are transmitted through the bodyshell. At one stage, the glovebox flew open of its own accord when accelerating hard over a ridge in the road in third gear. To be honest both cars are similarly focused – NVH levels in the M4 aren’t great either – but it feels like a bigger shift in character for Mercedes than BMW. The other trait the two cars share is a severe dislike of slippery conditions. Trying to drive the C63 even moderately enthusiastically in the wet is like watching a turtle struggling on its back; on one level it’s amusing, but ultimately an exercise in futility. There’s just way too much power to put through two tyres. These struggles can extend to the dry in less than ideal conditions. Sadly, Heathcote was extremely slippery on our chosen test day and despite new tyres being fitted after our photoshoot, the Merc simply refused to hook up, constantly wheelspinning through first and second gear. Its best effort was 0-100km/h in 4.56sec and a 12.48sec quarter mile at 194.10km/h; still extremely fast, but there are another three or four tenths in it on a grippier surface. Nevertheless, the engine utterly dominates the C63. No matter the gear or rpm there’s always a relentless torrent of torque available and it sounds like a grizzly bear with a bad head cold. Unfortunately, the transmission remains an AMG weak point. While much improved, the seven-speed MCT auto’s habit of taking off in second gear in Comfort mode leads to slow, slurry getaways; selecting Sport cures this problem but introduces a new one: a tendency to jerk through the final downshifts when coming to a halt. It’s not the end of the world, but is unbecoming of a $160K-odd car from a premium car manufacturer. With its inability to ‘creep’, the BMW’s seven-speed dual-clutch isn’t great at low-speed manoeuvring either – three-point turns are a right pain – but it is better behaved than the Merc and manual shifts via the paddles are answered more obediently. Its biggest downfall is the unnecessary and irritating jolt on upshifts, which are not only uncomfortable but can lead to a loss of traction in the next gear. Some pundits have labelled the M4’s 3.0-litre twinturbo six dull, which seems extremely harsh for an engine that hits this hard in the mid-range yet revs well beyond 7000rpm. While hailed for its response when it first appeared, compared to the very latest turbo engines there is some low-down delay, but that only makes the boost feel even more exciting when it does arrive. It also makes the M4 Competition unbelievably fast. Despite giving away a full litre and two cylinders in displacement, not to mention 43kW/150Nm on the spec sheet, the BMW is every bit as fast as the Mercedes. In what must qualify as a minor miracle, the notoriously capricious launch control actually worked and hurled the M4 to 100km/h in 4.39sec and across the quarter in 12.38sec at 193.31km/h. While


As you'd expect with 375kW/700Nm on tap, the C63 Coupe will haze its rear tyres all day long

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Inside story MERCEDES edges the BMW for glitz and glamour, but the M4 is roomier with a lower driving position and its controls are more intuitive.

BODY DRIVE ENGINE BORE/STROKE COMPRESSION POWER TORQUE POWER/WEIGHT TRANSMISSION WEIGHT SUSPENSION (F) SUSPENSION (R) L/W/H WHEELBASE TRACKS STEERING BRAKES (F) BRAKES (R) WHEELS TYRE SIZES TYRE PRICE AS TESTED PROS CONS

MERCEDES-AMG C63 S COUPE

BMW M4 COMPETITION

2-door, 4-seat coupe rear-wheel drive 3988cc V8, DOHC, 32v, twin-turbo 83.0 x 92.0mm 10.5:1 375kW @ 5500-6250rpm 700Nm @ 1750-4500rpm 217kW/tonne 7-speed wet-clutch automatic 1725kg multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar 4750/1877/1400mm 2840mm 1636/1592mm electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion 390mm ventilated/drilled carbon-ceramic discs, 6-piston calipers 380mm ventilated/drilled discs, 4-piston calipers 19.0 x 9.0-inch (f); 20 x 10.5-inch (r) 255/35 ZR19 (f); 285/30 ZR20 (r) Michelin Pilot Super Sport $173,015 ($162,400 MSRP) Unbelievable engine; playful chassis; X factor Firm ride; rear styling; hopeless in the wet

2-door, 4-seat coupe rear-wheel drive 2979cc inline-6cyl, DOHC, 24v, twin-turbo 84.0 x 89.6mm 10.2:1 331kW @ 7000rpm 550Nm @ 1850-5500rpm 215kW/tonne 7-speed dual-clutch 1537kg struts, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar 4671/1870/1383mm 2812mm 1579/1603mm electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion 380mm ventilated/drilled discs, 4-piston calipers 370mm ventilated/drilled discs, 2-piston calipers 20.0 x 9.0-inch (f); 20 x 10.0-inch (r) 265/30 ZR20 (f); 285/30 ZR20 (r) Michelin Pilot Super Sport $157,355 ($154,615 MSRP) Huge performance; agility; value Restrictive ESP; engine lacks spark

STAR RATING 11112

we matched the time doing it the old fashioned way, the electronics were more consistent. Where the BMW loses ground to the Mercedes is in character. The M4 Competition does sound fruitier than the standard car, but the S55 engine needs the M Performance exhaust (a $9350 option) to really gain some personality. These things are subjective, of course, but we’re yet to find anyone who truly enjoys the flat blare of the twin-turbo 3.0-litre, especially in comparison to the blood-and-thunder vocal delivery of the Mercedes. And it’s in this highly subjective area that the M4 Competition loses this comparison. In its favoured operating range – going as fast as possible with maximum commitment – the BMW is incredible, an

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M4 Competition isn't the easiest car to drive on the limit, but the rewards are there if you're prepared to put the work in

adrenalin-pumping experience that leaves your eyes on stalks and your nerves abuzz. And on a purely objective basis, you could even make a case for the M4 winning, as it’s every bit as quick as the C63, faster around a track, slightly roomier inside and, as-tested, more than $15,000 cheaper. But while the M4 can handle mundane motoring with ease, it offers insufficient excitement in the process. Simply put, the Mercedes is the more enjoyable car more of the time, with a character the BMW can’t match. All too often that’s an intangible quality, but thankfully here it can be easily quantified: it’s the noise of that twin-turbo V8 on start-up, its lowspeed rumble around town and the feeling of limitless power. Only a small detail, but an important one. M


Introducing Laufenn. Designed for reliable performance. No matter what the season, no matter what the road brings, /DXIHQQZLOO¿W\RXUHYHU\GD\GULYLQJQHHGV

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THE AWARDS 2016's Hits & Misses

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Best of the Best by M O T O R S T A F F

At MOTOR the sum of a fast car's parts tends to determine its final score – as it should. But recognition is overdue for those with outstanding specific talents

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It was not without some squabbling we determined which cars deserved the nod

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ACH YEAR we name the best new performance tyre. We determine by exhaustive process the best aftermarkettuned late-model performance car in all the land. We head to a track and punt more than 20 cars to find the best value new four-wheeled toy under $100,000. And at the end of it all, the year culminates in a week of winding tacho needles clockwise to deify a new Performance Car of the Year. In all that you have MOTOR's calendar of excellence – our annual method for recognising the best products that have emerged during this lap of the sun. For the first time, we want to introduce you to The Shout-Outs – a section where we give a nod to cars that excel in certain areas. The categories are outlined to the right but there's also smaller areas to give recognition where it's due, as you'll read in the coming pages. The winners were not determined by spreadsheet or hours of communal beard-stroking but by the staff of this magazine as we all sat around the dusty MOTOR HQ. Having driven almost every hot new device released this year between us – up to 150 cars – we replayed moments etched into memory. The on-song engine notes, the sublime front ends, the chassis that shrunk around you like a giant, familiar suit. Laughs were had, tense deliberating occurred, and a fair bit of squabbling erupted but, in the end, we determined which cars deserved the nod – and which didn't measure up to expectations. Yes, you'll read not just about the best of the best but what didn't whet the appetite quite like it should have, too. You'll read our biggest disappointment of the year, the inaugural Dropped Pie Award for the most hideous contraption as beheld by our collective eyes. There's the supercar that spat us out looking white and trembling and we hail the car most difficult to farewell (there's been a few send-offs this year). So it's not all fairy floss and puppies. We finish with an award that belongs to you lot: the most popular new fast car of the year. The resident skeptics could say that the People's Champ recognises the best marketing and PR team of the year but when you see our winner, your theories will promptly deflate. If nothing else our 2016 Shout-Outs give you a better idea how we rate the cars that we do. Some cars surprise in that they get a rap in the coming pages and yet all year they've flown almost entirely under the radar. Which could say something about the rest of the car, but moving along... For now, get comfortable and join us as we recognise the performance cars that have excelled and, to a lesser extent, the ones that haven't. Let the inaugural MOTOR Shout-Outs begin.

The Categories Best Donk

Which engine punches so hard it takes our breath away

Sweetest Chassis

If you want us out of this car you'll need a crowbar

The Most Fun

Not necessarily the fastest, but the car we'd more like to drive

Biggest Surprise

We had our ideas but we were proven very wrong

Best Looker

The one we're most likely to do the 'turnaround' after locking

Best Cockpit

The place we'd most like to sit. Moving or not, doesn't matter

People's Champ

The year's most-loved fast car as voted by you

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Best Donk

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The thrill of atmo-spheric acceleration IF CARS could be compared to humans, then the engine would definitely be the heart. For many of us, this is where our love affair with cars started. Purists may preach about precise handling and feelsome steering, but nothing stirs the emotions like a barking exhaust and the feeling of acceleration forcing you into your seat, and on these two sensations our ‘Best Engine of 2016’, the 4.0-litre flat-six from Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS, delivers in spades. Much has been written, including by MOTOR, about the demise of Porsche’s iconic ‘Mezger’ engine, which powered every one of Porsche’s hardcore ‘GT’ 911s until the awesome 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0. For die-hard Porsche-philes, this was the last ‘real’ 911; oh sure, subsequent GT3s would no doubt be faster and more efficient, but they wouldn’t have the same feel and character. Well, in the words of Mr Trump – "Wrong!" The regular 3.8-litre GT3 quickly proved our fears unfounded. With a sky-high 9000rpm redline and searing Le Mans soundtrack, not to mention unbelievable pace, it left us wondering where Porsche could possibly go with the GT3 RS. Bigger was the answer. An extra 200cc revived the ‘4.0’ badge, but it takes much more than a slight increase in displacement to liberate 18kW/20Nm from what is already a very highly-strung atmo engine. Almost all of the internal parts were changed, including the conrods, camshafts, cam springs,

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pistons and oil system. The crankshaft is made of special hardened steel, identical to that found in Porsche’s 919 LMP1 Le Mans cars. Using the wider Turbo bodyshell allowed the use of side air vents in the rear guards, increasing air flow through a new intake system. The net result is officially 368kW at 8250rpm, however Porsche Motorsport boss Andreas Preuninger admits the actual figure is closer to 380kW. This explains how it can rocket from 0-100km/h in 3.3sec and across the quarter mile in 11.2sec. Even on wellworn tyres, we managed 0-100km/h in 3.71sec and an 11.6sec quarter mile at 201km/h, which makes it one of the fastest cars we've tested in 2016. What the numbers don’t convey is how different the on-road experience is between the 3.8 and 4.0. Whereas the former thrives on revs, exploding across the last 2000rpm, the latter feels much more muscular in the mid-range. It still revs to 8800rpm, yet while it also still has a killer top-end rush, it doesn’t feel as spectacular as by the time 4500rpm hits the tacho, you’re seriously moving. There are a couple of new-age turbo contenders worthy of consideration, most notably the latest V8s from Ferrari and AMG, but neither quite offer the same thrill of climbing a seemingly never-ending naturally-aspirated hill. In the end, it’s the atmo heart of the GT3 RS that makes our own beat faster. – SN

HONOURABLE MENTION FERRARI 488 GTB


BEST DRIVETRAIN

Ford Focus RS

FOR YEARS all-wheel drive hot hatches have been handicapped by Haldex. While each successive generation has been better than the last, and the improvements in traction profound, the Haldex all-wheel drive system still drives the front wheels and shuffles torque rearwards when necessary. Enter the Ford Focus RS. Its clever ‘Twinster’ system, adapted from the Range Rover Evoque of all places, can send the majority of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, giving the car a rearbiased feel on corner exit that has so far eluded the hot hatch segment. Drift Mode is a gimmick (see p99), but the drivetrain is brilliant. – SN

BEST NOISE

Purists can preach all they like but nothing stirs the emotions like a barking exhaust

Lambo Huracan LP580-2

ALL ARGUMENTS in favour of turbocharged supercar engines are settled after just five furious minutes in the Lamborghini Huracan LP5802. Boy, does this thing sound the goods – its 5.2-litre V10 makes a noise both exotic and menacing in true oldschool supercar fashion. It's also so loud only those with permanent hearing damage would ever consider an aftermarket exhaust. You'll know every tunnel and rockface in a 20km radius. Honourable mention: Holden Commodore SS-V Redline. Compared to the 6.0-litre VF the LS3 SS has proper balls. It burbles at idle, crackles and just sounds tough. – DC


Sweetest Chassis

Porsche Cayman S

Putting the engine in the middle makes for the most sublime handling performance car of 2016

IT CAN be a tad intimidating the first time you punt a Porsche Cayman hard. The weight's all in the middle which, unless you've done a track day or two in a Toyota MR2, could be something quite foreign. Coldsweat visions of the car swapping ends within its wheelbase or spitting you into a ditch at a moment's notice are true of many mid-engine machines. Not the Porsche Cayman. There are few cars quite as satisfying or as easy to punt hard up a bendy road quite like Porsche's new mid-engine sweetie. And it's funny, there's nothing overtly revolutionary about its suspension set-up. There's no active trickery, no all-wheel steering – just MacPherson struts front and rear, conventional antiroll bars and some adaptive dampers, proving there's still plenty of merit in getting the basics right. Which Porsche has very much done with its 1355kg (manual) 718 Cayman S. It's surprisingly tricky to explain why this car gets this gong short of installing you in the driver's seat of one on an empty racetrack and letting you have your own 'aha' moment. Chassis and tyres live in perfect matrimony and the 718 Cayman gives plenty of notice about what it's going to do next. In turn, you feel confident. And in turn again, you have fun. This is the 718 Cayman's simple formula.

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It points well, too, thanks to a sublime new steering system pinched from the 911 Turbo. Bolted in for the 718 update, the new electromechanical fixed-rate rack is 10 per cent quicker than the previous 781's making apexes even easier to lock on to. The 718 Cayman can be driven fast and clean or dance its gorgeous rump around on the brakes – or throttle, particularly since the fitment of the torquey new turbocharged flat-fours. You don't know the ESP is on until you've made a mistake. It's friendly enough for new performance drivers to enjoy yet at a track day has plenty of time hidden in its many layers such that more experienced hands will never get bored. Mostly, though, it'll have you surfing Google Maps for new roads in far-flung places. It's that good. Honourable mention: Ford Focus RS. Think of this car's handling as being 'multi-dimensional'. Just want to explore the grip of those tenacious Michelin Pilot Super Sports? Sure. What about dancing the rear around like a loon? Can do. But you ain't seen nothin' until you pick up the throttle early and aggressively out of a tight second-gear corner. Yep, it'll wag its tail. Few new performance cars offer as many different ways to be driven hard as the Focus RS – and it's possibly the only car under $100K that gets better the harder you drive it. What a thing. – DC

The trouble with 718 Caymans is that many owners would have no clue just what their car is capable of


BEST STEERING

MY2017 Toyota 86

STEERING’s quite personal. Unless you drive a Tesla Model S it’s the only thing you control full time in the driver’s seat. Only slightly tweaked this year, the system in the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ remains a standout. You still know exactly where the front wheels point and no variable rack technology muddies its speed or weight. Both these aspects respond accordingly to any change in grip, giving it Porsche levels of feedback and making it a perfect partner to the car’s oversteer-loving nature. The best thing, perhaps, is you only need $29,900 to experience it. It truly is the best steering around. – LC

There are few cars that are as satisfying to punt hard up a bendy road

BEST ELECTRONICS

Porsche PSM Sport

HONOURABLE MENTION FORD FOCUS RS

PORSCHE’S ESP is among the best in the world – even Luffy tends to leave it on during his PCOTY hot laps because unless you’ve made a serious mistake, it doesn’t really intrude. However, if you want to feel the car move around a little your only option is still to turn the ESP off altogether. That was the case until the 991.2 911 and 718 Boxster/ Cayman, in which Porsche introduced an excellent ‘ESP Sport’ setting. The latitude it allows means you still have to drive and control the car, yet it’ll almost imperceptibly steady the ship if it feels your ambition is outweighing your ability. More fun with less risk is a win in our books. – SN


Holden SS Ute Loveable local larrikin steals the show NO DOUBT this will have a few of you scratching your head and wondering if Team MOTOR has gone soft in ours. Yes, of the 150 or so performance cars we’ve driven over the past 12 months, including the best from Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini, the one that made us grin the most was a $45,000 home grown ute with an automatic gearbox. Believe it. Without fail, everyone who drove the SS ute at Bang For Your Bucks this year completed more laps than was strictly necessary and exited the car with a facesplitting grin. In VF II guise with the 304kW/570Nm 6.2-litre LS3 V8, it makes a wicked noise and has performance aplenty, which is why it soundly thumped its rivals on its way to a $0-$50K class win. Crucially, our test car also possessed the $350 ‘Performance’ brake upgrade. It might be a cheap option, but it gave the notoriously under-braked base SS the stopping power to handle a full day’s racetrack work. A circuit might not seem like the natural habitat for a V8 ute, but we guarantee there are few more enjoyable ways to spend time behind the wheel. Key to the appeal is its incredibly benign With a 6.2-litre LS3 pumping out behaviour at the limit. It doesn’t wear V8 304kW/570Nm, particularly performance-focused tyres, but the VFII is rough, while that might hurt its outright handling tough, and wickedly fun to drive capabilities, it means that any misbehaviour happens at a relatively low, non-scary speed. And misbehaviour is this Holden's trump card. We’re not going to lie – a big part of the SS’s place at the top of our fun list is the incredible ease with which it can be driven sideways. Everywhere. It's not big, it's not clever, but we’re prepared to bet that a lot of people reading this have had a go at drifting with the same cheek-aching grin that we had after a day at the track. The SS ute will happily wag its tail under brakes which means you’re on opposite lock before you’ve even got to the corner apex. At this point you just have to meter out the power to continue the slide, and in the big ute this all seems to happen in slow motion. It’s the only car I’ve ever driven which has stepped sideways in Winton’s fearsome high-speed sweeper and made me consider trying to drive out of it. Thankfully, common sense prevailed but the fact it even seemed like a good idea shows just how friendly this loveable local larrikin is. Which makes it even more heartbreaking that by this time next year it’ll cease to exist. – SN HONOURABLE MENTION: Mazda MX-5. Fun factor is the MX-5's reason for being.

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HONOURABLE MENTION ND MAZDA MX-5


Most Fun

HARDEST CHARGER

Ferrari 488 GTB

IT'S A game of chicken you will lose: full throttle in Ferrari's absolutely storming new 488 GTB. In most cars there comes a point, as wind resistance builds, that the acceleration starts to taper off and you think to yourself, yep, that's what it's got. Not the 488. It just keeps accelerating. You'll be tapering off long before it does. Each gear has its own torque map. As you grab each new ratio, more torque is unleashed, to the full-whack 760Nm in seventh. It makes the 488 one breath-takingly long-legged, potent device. It'll ruin the acceleration of every other fast car you'll ever drive afterwards. – DC

SCARIEST BEAST

Ferrari F12tdf

Everyone who drove the SS ute exited the car with a face-splitting grin IT’S UNLIKELY we’ll ever get to drive the scariest, loudest, edgiest Ferrari of them all locally – and frankly that’s okay by me. Born of the insane F12, the TDF – short for Tour de France (the cross-country rally, not the pushie race) – makes an astonishing 579kW and more than 700Nm from its 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V12, making it capable of over 340km/h. And it’s rear-drive. Ferrari has gone to town on the TDF. It’s 110kg lighter, has twice the downforce of the F12, and has all-wheel steering. Words like ‘savage’, ‘angry’, and ‘ferocious’ have been bandied about by those who have sampled its charms… and maybe one day that’ll be us. Or not. That’s fine, too. – TR


Biggest Surprise

Peugeot has created a giant-slaying hot hatch that's surprisingly angry – and fast HONOURABLE MENTION FORD MUSTANG GT

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MOST IMPROVED

Volkswagen Polo GTI Mock the 308 GTi at your peril: if you see these rims, don't go racing for slips up a tight road; it's also manual-only (for now)

Peugeot 308 GTi These fast Frenchies once knew how to make a balltearing hot hatch. It turns out they've not forgotten YES, YOU could call this gong the We Were Wrong To Have Low Expectations Award but it doesn't quite roll off the tongue and makes a terrible acronym. Yet for a car to surprise, we're sorry to say one must have had a reasonably-formed and not-necessarilyflattering idea in his or her mind prior to getting behind the wheel. This was true for us with the Peugeot 308 GTi. We blame the 308 GT. Yeah, it's not bad, but to call it a hot hatch is a bit of a leap. We imagined the 308 GTi to be a version of that with more boost and bigger rubber. That was true, but it was more than that. Much more. Peugeot Sport had gone off and created an offits-head, giant-slaying hot hatch with a hilarious appetite for shredding front tyres, a proper mechanical limited-slip diff, big-boy brakes and tyres that screamed Sacrebleu. And the best bit? It all worked together to create something surprisingly angry – and fast. We're talking about the more senior 270 version, too. Peugeot didn't even bother sending this variant to our Bang For Your Bucks event this year, confident enough in the more junior 250 (pictured) which packs less grunt and less gear. An element of strategy may have been involved as you can option the 250 with the 270's 19-inch wheels and very grippy Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres and keep under $50K. And so the 308 GTi 250 came to BFYB, saw, and surprised both objectively and subjectively. Think a 1:40.1sec lap around Winton – quicker than a Falcon XR6 Sprint. That's what'll happen

when you put a 184kW/330Nm turbo 1.6-litre fourbanger in a car that weighs 1205kg (just 8kg more than a Ford Fiesta ST). We can only imagine how the more potent 200kW 270 version might've gone with the big, 380mm four-pot front brakes and proper diff, which was missed around Winton's tighter corners. Indeed in a separate test the 270 banged out a decent 6.09 seconds 0-100km/h. The thing's mad. Yet for its zanier side it's restrained when it needs to be. Think of it like a Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance and a Renault Megane RS275 mixed together and you've got a reasonable idea what the 308 GTi 270 is all about. It's plush inside, makes a good noise in Sport mode (even if a little artificial – it gets a bit of help via the stereo) and while unlike a Megane RS the chassis takes some provocation to come unstuck, thanks to that diff it can get up a tight, twisty road at a rate that'll keep you more than paying attention. WWWTHLE indeed. – DC Honourable mention: Ford Mustang GT. American performance cars have earned themselves a reputation for looking good, making a fab noise and going hard in a straight line – aaaand that's about it. So when we saddled-up Ford's new ponycar for the first time we were surprised the Blue Oval people weren't looking more worried: they had included corners on the test route. But not only did the Mustang GT cut a mean line through the bends but it felt to lap them up with sweet, accurate steering and an agile, capable chassis. It's even fun on a twisty road. An American car, who would've thought? Not us, we were wrong. And happy to be.

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THE ADDITION of a manual gearbox alone probably qualifies the updated VW Polo GTI for this award. This not only added a layer of interaction to a car that has previously lacked a bit of fire, but also allowed VW engineers to unlock an extra 70Nm from the 1.8-litre turbo. This extra grunt turns the Polo GTI in a right pocket rocket, capable of giving its Golf GTI big brother a black eye in a straight line, but it was the MY16 addition of adaptive dampers that really added extra spice to the Polo package, improving its ride but also sharpening its cornering skills. – SN

MOST DISAPPOINTING

MINI John Cooper Works

THE PREVIOUS MINI Cooper JCW was a much-loved partner in crime for MOTOR and deservingly so: it had a big heart, a big personality and was properly fast – and fun – on road and track. It was with a tear we bid it hooroo but we kept optimistic that the new one would be cheekier, more fun and faster still. It turned out to be just faster. The new MINI JCW is a better all-round car, but not a better performance car. The engine is potent enough but the handling feels oddly artificial and it doesn't tempt you to keep driving it anything like the rip-snorting old one. We live in hope of improvement; see p24. – DC

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Best Looker

Ford Mustang GT This ain’t no tame gelding LET’S get one thing straight here – in no way am I objectifying the Ford Mustang. Despite my gaze lingering on that long, voluptuous bonnet, or those fantastic taillights… ah, who am I kidding? It’s a bloody good looking car. We’ve had the Mustang shoved in our collective faces for a solid couple of years now – but the hype and hysteria fades away when you actually sidle up to one on the street only to be replaced by sheer awe. It’s hard to quantify just why, though. Is it the overt yet beautifully executed 1960s-style fastback swoop? The blindingly bright yet darkly sinister hooded headlights? That dirty great mesh grille that so eschews modern styling, yet manages to be right on trend at the same time? Few, if any, cars manage to capture the essence of what made their forebears such icons but the Mustang does it with casual aplomb. Even though the team gave themselves plenty of chances to muck it up, they didn’t. Let’s face it, with the exception of Catherine Zeta Jones, it’s the hottest 50-year-old you’ve ever seen. Its casual, muscular simplicity is key to its dropdead good looks with proportions that are oh-so spot on. Rims that fill the muscled guards? Check. Even the sheer length of the doors gives the ’Stang an air of nonchalant hotness. You can almost imagine it covering a Mills and Boon novel. And what makes it more amazing is the latest Mustang was penned outside the States. Early designs of the sixth generation car – known internally as the S550 – were sourced from Ford Europe’s Cologne office but the Ford bosses demanded a do-over halfway

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through the process. The final design, penned by German designer Kemal Curic, was approved in July 2014 – just 19 months before production kicked off. From behind the wheel, you’re instantly transported to another time when roadsters ruled. The view over the bonnet seems to stretch into the horizon before falling off a bluff nosed cliff, and the narrow slit of a windscreen profile only adds to the awareness that you’re sitting behind a LOT of engine and the feeling of barely constrained power underneath. Unfortunately, the interior isn’t quite as convincing as the beautiful exterior; the steering wheel and shifter score top marks, but the toggle switches aren’t executed with as much confidence as the car exudes. It doesn’t matter, though. The Mustang’s definitely more than a one-trick pony when it comes to its ability to crack necks. – TR

Its casual, muscular simplicity is key to its drop dead good looks HONOURABLE MENTION: BMW M3 Competition Package. There’s something about a four-door M car that’s just right, and the new BMW M3 Competition Pack is more right than most. New, more minimalist rims with a hint of low offset, the perfect ride heigh (and can still go over bumps properly), blackened grille and roof, ridiculously cool bonnet bulge… it’s definitely the looker of the BMW M3/M4 collection.

Those rims, that ride height, those pumped rear guards... excuse us a minute


BEST DETAIL

Audi R8 V10 Plus rear wing

SPOILERS can do just that to a car’s looks. But if there’s any marque that can integrate something stylishly, it’s Audi. Ingolstadt's flagship supercar, the R8 V10, comes with a standard extending spoiler that lets its gorgeous silhouette run undisturbed. However, on the faster Plus, it’s traded for a fixed unit. Finished in gloss carbon fibre it matches the rear diffuser’s race-bred looks, while at maximum velocity, which is 330km/h, it helps load the car’s rear axle with 100kg. Of course, while it does its part for downforce, it's svelte enough to hardly disturb rear vision. A lesson in both form and function. – LC

DROPPED PIE AWARD

Bentley Bentayga HONOURABLE MENTION BMW M3 COMPETION

OKAY, YES, it's an unflattering photo. But such things are easy to get your hands on for Bentley's new luxo-SUV, the Bentayga – the dubious recipient of our inaugural Dropped Pie Award. Looking like the lovechild of a wombat and a Westinghouse, possibly the most worrisome thing about the Bentayga is, if it didn't have Bentley badges on it, ask most punters what it is and they're likely to give quite upsetting answers. It's true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and who are we to bag the Bentayga on subjective grounds. And to those people we say: jeans and joggers? Really? – DC


Best Interior

Porsche Cayman

New 718 coupe proves the devil's in the details THE HELM, office, cockpit, whatever you call it – when it comes to driving fast you wanna make sure your workstation is up to scratch. You might not only spend over 200 hours in it commuting each year, but as the crucial interface for driving a car, it needs to be good. So the Bentley Bentayga's sumptuous abode takes the gong and we all can go home, right? Err, not exactly. When the pace quickens, you'll find pedal placement becomes a lot more important than carpet thickness. One car interior that excels in the area of full-berrygiving is Audi's new TT. The moment you drop onto its quilted pews you feel like the centre of attention. Everything curls around you – the vents, the dead pedal and centre console. And the centrepiece, a nicely-sized steering wheel hangs like an ornamental present, whispering ‘drive me’. Its technology’s also hipper than an Apple advertisement. The temperature readouts are hidden in the middle of the HVAC vents, and the virtual cockpit – the fully Cayman's new drive mode dial takes digital dash – is crystal clear. However, the TT’s after Ferrari, though chances as our favourite interior of the year bang-on ergonomics is smothered by its driving position. Your foot are Porsche's own trademark space feels compromised by the drivetrain. And this is where our winner swoops in. With the Porsche 718 Cayman's engine stowed behind the driver your feet stretch out into its nose as if your toes could tickle the underside of the bonnet. Its central analogue tacho also sits higher, thrust further into driving view than the Audi’s virtual cockpit, while its A-pillars are thinner, even if marginally. Rally drivers will appreciate the round steering wheel, in optional GT guise or not, and comes with a manettinostyle drive mode switch, which trumps the Audi’s mere button because it allows you to see what mode you’re in from just a glance. Sure, the Audi will wow the technologically astute, but the Porsche’s fit, finish, and materials can satisfy to the same level. Both interiors teach you a lesson in ergonomics, yet the Cayman’s touchpoints deliver the silver bullet. Those shell-style doorhandles allow your right hand to open the driver's door, whereas the Audi’s spoke-like items force your left hand to reach across. Ditching PDK shift buttons, Cayman’s new bow-like paddles are also superior for both purpose and feel. And for the steering requirements outside those boring 200 hours, it’s these extra details that raise the 718 Cayman’s interior as this year's most satisfying place to sit. – LC

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BEST OPTION

LP580-2 adaptive dampers

THE Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 is the Lambo we signed on for – equal parts terrifying and utterly intoxicating. As awesome as the $379K Huracan rear-driver is, though, there’s one way to take it even greater levels, and that’s by opting for $5000 worth of MagneRide dampers. That's lots of cash, but hey, parking sensors cost $5700. They lend a couple of personalities: in Strada mode, the ride is comfortable and relatively cosseting, but things ratchet up in both Sport and Corsa. The top two are close in feel, but there’s more leniency for controlled lunacy in the middle setting. In all, it's five grand well spent. – TR

BIGGEST GIMMICK

There's one aspect that smothers the TT's chances – its driving position

Ford Focus RS drift mode

IT HAS garnered more column inches than any other car feature this year, so there’s a great irony that in reality the Focus RS’s much hyped ‘Drift Mode’ is, well, a bit poo. Anyone with visions of hitting a button and revelling in smokey slides will be sadly disappointed. With an empty car park and someone else’s tyres at your disposal, Drift Mode offers some cheap laughs, but it has little to do with the traditional art of oversteer. However, while Drift Mode doesn’t automatically make the Focus RS drift, the good news is a superadjustable chassis means it is capable of sliding just fine in its regular modes. – SN


People's Champion

Ford threw everything it had at the Sprint program, with more power, better tyres, new suspension and bigger brakes

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Ford Falcon XR6 Sprint Behold, the most-loved performance car of 2016 THE BEST performance car of 2016, as voted by MOTOR readers, is the Ford Falcon XR6 Sprint. If ever proof were needed as to how deeply the affection for locally-made product is felt with Aussie car enthusiasts, the results of our online poll are it. The two cars sitting on the popularity podium alongside the XR6 Sprint are the Falcon XR8 Sprint and Holden’s VF II Commodore SS-V Redline and between them, these three home-grown muscle cars accounted for 56 per cent of the 689 votes our poll had received as MOTOR closed for press. It seems that if Malcolm Turnbull is ever having a bad run in the polls, all he needs to do is borrow a Sprint for a week and watch his numbers soar... While the top three is an all-Aussie affair, the XR6 Sprint is a standout favourite, a landslide winner with 33 per cent of the total vote. The reasons why aren’t immediately clear. It’s certainly not because it was the best car on the list. Hang on, stow those pitchforks, Ford fans. Surely even the most die-hard Blue Oval supporter won’t argue that in terms of outright ability, the XR6 Sprint can’t match the likes of the Porsche 911R, Ferrari 488 GTB, McLaren 570S or BMW M2. But if we’re talking patriotism and sentimentality, why did the XR6 Sprint garner double the number of votes of its supercharged V8 stablemate? From Ford XR Falcon GT to Holden Torana A9X to FPV GT F to HSV GTS, Aussie muscle car culture has traditionally been built on V8s, but it appears that the ultimate

The XR6 Sprint is undoubtedly the most Australian muscle car of the current crop turbo Falcon has struck a chord. Perhaps it’s because it’s undoubtedly the most Australian performance car of the current crop. While the XR8 Sprint’s Miami engine is also locally built and developed, it was derived from the Ford Mustang’s Coyote V8 (even if the two share virtually nothing in common bar their 4951cc displacement). The mighty Barra, on the other hand, is 100 per cent Aussie, from the bottom of its oil pan to the top of its cylinder head, and has been claiming V8 scalps since its introduction in 2002. Another factor in the XR6 Sprint’s popularity could be that is was essentially a new car. Whereas the XR8 Sprint was an optimisation of the existing XR8 package (new suspension, better tyres) along with a few choice bits from the GT F (twin-pedal throttle map, stiffer transmission mount, ESP calibration), the XR6 Sprint will forever be the fastest six-cylinder

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car this country ever produced, a huge step in performance over a regular XR6 Turbo and a level beyond even the old FPV F6. By combining the higher compression XR6 Turbo engine with F6 ancillaries and a new exhaust and carbon fibre air intake, the Sprint team, led by Justin Capicchiano and David Burn, lifted outputs to 325kW/576Nm, or a whopping 370kW/650Nm when the transient overboost function is active. Not just that, the XR6 Sprint also has gear-specific boost maps, which allows the ZF six-speed auto’s 650Nm torque

budget, the Sprint development team managed to improve almost every facet of the car’s dynamics and performance and offer it for a measly $54,990. But they can’t work miracles: the performance car game moves very quickly and the basic FG platform is eight years old. It only takes one short drive of the latest performance pony in the Ford stables, the Mustang GT, to show where the Falcon is lacking. Then again, as we said, the entire Sprint development budget was probably equivalent to that of the Mustang’s tail-light design. One constant thorn in our side, however,

There are 550 people out there extremely happy to have an XR6 Sprint in the garage limit to be sustained for as long as possible. Combine this performance with its limited-edition status – just 550 were built, 300 less than the XR8 Sprint – and perhaps it isn’t surprising that this is Aussie car enthusiasts’ favourite machine of 2016. Nonetheless, MOTOR’s relationship with the XR6 Sprint has been somewhat tumultuous. There’s no doubt that the car is a big improvement over a regular XR6 Turbo. Working with what must’ve been a meagre

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has been our inability to match the Sprint’s claimed performance times. Of course, Ford doesn’t actually claim official performance figures, but it’s now a matter of public record that in ideal conditions, the XR6 Sprint should be capable of 0-100km/h in 4.5sec and a 12.6sec quarter mile. Despite having tested two different cars at two different locations (Heathcote and Winton) our bests stand at 4.89sec 0-100km/h and a 12.89sec

Better breathing helped the mighty Barra go out on a high – it made a monstrous 370kW/650Nm on overboost


BEST NEWCOMER

BMW M2

WORRIED that M has lost its way? Don’t be. The M2 takes the very best of what made M great, adds a dash of ‘up yours, Jack’ and distils it into an intoxicating blend of powerful rear-drive juju that makes you laugh like a loon every time you turn it over. It’s got the best steering of any BMW of the last five years, and its retro touches balance well with the punkkid-on-steroids feel of the overblown exterior. And it goes. Boy it goes. It’s at home on the circuit or carving through a mountain detour, and it sounds amazing in both instances. Hopefully the nanny-state self-blipping gear shift thing will disappear in the next facelift, because it’s so close to perfect it’s not even funny. – TR

SOLEMNEST FAREWELL

Ford Falcon & Lancer Evo

IT’S BEEN a long goodbye for two of our favourite cars, but 2016 marks the end of the road for the Ford Falcon and the Mitsubishi Evo, and that makes us sad pandas. The Falcon and MOTOR go way back – it’s impossible to know how many words and pics we’ve penned and snapped of the Falcon family, including Tickford and FPV – in our 56-year history together. The FPV F6 Typhoon even claimed a PCOTY gong in 2006. The same goes for the Evo, which first featured in these pages as a Lancer GSR (an Evo III by any other name) in 1993, before bursting into our hearts as the Evo VI Tommi Makinen of 2001. Thanks, lads. We’ll miss you. – TR


quarter mile at 184.11km/h. Those times were recorded using launch control and the car hooked up very well, but it’s a long way from what the car is supposedly capable of. These are among the fastest figures recorded by independent media, but a member of the Falcon Forums matched the claims using the same press cars we used, so the fault has to lie with us. But if we’re grown up about this – which is no fun, but bear with me – it’s also largely irrelevant. In the real world, no one ever accelerates from 0-100km/h; whether overtaking or on a winding country road, what you do is accelerate from 60-100km/h a lot, and in this range the XR6 Sprint is an absolute rocket. Likewise, while it is our job to review and rate cars in comparison to their direct competition, what really matters is that the people buying a car enjoy it, and we’re willing to bet that there are 550 people out there who are extremely happy to have an XR6 Sprint in the garage. More than a few of them are probably responsible for this result. And why wouldn't they enjoy it? For a relatively small outlay (we're not talking AMG money here), they have a practical family car that goes like the clappers, is a piece of automotive history and, perhaps most importantly, has a Ford badge on the bonnet. We’ll leave the final words to Sprint Program Manager Justin Capicchiano. “It was never meant to be a track car," he says. "We set out to build a pretty capable road car. It was a statement to the fans and they responded.” They sure did. M

Pre-production cars will sadly eventually head to the crusher; we're sure they could find a happy home in a museum

"We set out to build a pretty capable road car – the Sprints are a statement to the fans"

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We are now a

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THE FIGHT Tesla Model S P90D vs Audi RS7 Performance

SHOCK

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& AWE by L O U I S C O R D O N Y pics E L L E N D E W A R

It's batteries versus boost as two very different takes on fast four-door performance go head-to-head – on road and strip

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F THIS country adores anything as much as meat pies, sandy shores and public holidays, it’s large, fast four-door sedans. Yet the options are thinning. We've sadly so-longed the Falcon and after the Commodore's also bid us a tearful farewell, moving five with a V8 will only be done by The Very Expensive. But even there, well into six figures, a dark cloud broods over the V8 sedan – or, more accurately, it crackles with electricity. Tesla’s Model S is everything oil companies hate and early adopters love – all electric. We’ve met the silent assassin on local turf before as a P85+; Tesla’s since replaced its range-topper with an altogether much mightier weapon, the P90D. The ‘D’ adds an extra motor to its arsenal and combined with the rear unit, both can produce up to a staggering 568kW/967Nm. From rest, Tesla says it'll summon 100km/h in 3.3sec, making it the fastest accelerating production sedan… ever.


The loudest sound you'll hear in a full-throttle Tesla will be your own expletives Better yet, the line underscoring its P90D badge denotes Ludicrous Mode, an option which allows the battery to flow more juice in peak conditions and cuts the 0-100km/h sprint to three seconds flat. However it's not the only supercar-fast four-door. Audi’s RS7 Performance is fresh from a mid-cycle update and now brandishes some serious grunt, too. Audi engineers lifted the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8’s rev ceiling by 200rpm and snuck in an overboost function to sniff out an extra 33kW. There’s also an extra 50Nm when in Dynamic mode. All up 445kW and 750Nm is squeezed through its quattro system, propelling it to 100km/h from rest in a claimed 3.7 seconds. Not enough to deliver a right-hook to the Tesla on paper, but here it's fossil fuel’s brightest-burning hope. Porsche has cleared the Panamera from dealers' shelves until the new one arrives. BMW’s M5 would be outclassed for grip, and while Mercedes-AMG's new E63 S claims 0-to-100km/h in 3.4sec, it’s not here until mid-2017. However, while the Audi's claimed to be slower off the line, it doesn’t feel so at Heathcote's dragstrip. The

only place where it fails to match Elon Musk’s rocket is traction. Two-stepping the torque converter from 2600rpm dumps huge grunt onto its Pirellis, and the rears especially struggle to soak it up. It’ll wriggle and twitch before shuffling power forward to restore grip at both axles, proving much different to the all-wheel drive launch in the Tesla. Without the need to idle, or shift gear, the Tesla’s wheel speeds never have to play catch-up. So there’s no clutch or need for launch control, and you simply plunge the throttle to escape the line. When you do, though, hold on and tell the kids to block their ears. Because the loudest sound they'll hear in a full-throttle Tesla will be expletives – yours. The acceleration doesn’t smash you like launch control in a GT-R, rather it builds into a neck-straining thrust as the motors spin up under full power. Once the race gets rolling, however, the Tesla’s ferocity wanes as the Audi surges ahead. The RS7 takes off like a Tomahawk missile with seatbelts, firing through three gearchanges to hit the traps in 11.29sec, three tenths sooner, and a whopping 17.4km/h faster.

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Super fast, the Tesla is as engaging as an induction cooktop; ultimately just a tool to perform a task. The Audi is faster, just as clever and much more involving

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(Far right) Audi comes with lots of kit, but trick steel-spring suspension's $4900 and carbon brakes add another $20K. Carbon exterior bits also add $8500

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Even though the P90D's 3.36sec 0-100km/h run isn’t what Tesla claims (mind you, it was extracted with 52 per cent charge) barring a Porsche 911 Turbo, that’s faster than the last two fields at MOTOR's Performance Car of the Year. What's more surprising is how the Tesla feels on open winding roads. It slices corners flat and composed with huge grip, despite wearing modestlysized 245mm/265mm front and rear Michelin rubber. The P90D's secret is the over 700kg of lithium-ion batteries living under its floor, gifting it a centre-ofgravity Formula One engineers would envy. An obvious downside to this is the Tesla's 2300kg kerb figure. When 80-120km/h disappears in just 2.12sec, there's plenty of inertia to reign in, and while those relatively small four-pots are full of feedback, they aren't the most powerful items. You're thankful the motors chip in with regenerative braking. With punch and grip in spades, the Tesla's devastating as a point-and-shoot weapon, almost transporting itself from one corner to the next. The front-end does feel a touch inert and the optional air suspension, which delivers a great ride, could also be responsible for its lack of agility, but these points are

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a small blemish on the face of impressive dynamics. What we miss most, though, is noise and vibration, of the good kind. Its silence, cushier suspension and disinterested steering mean there are fewer cues for when you're nearing the limit, which makes it hard to want to attack any harder than seven-tenths. Meanwhile, with a more traditional centre of gravity, the Audi’s higher rates of roll, pitch, and dive make it easier to read. Weight transfers enliven, rather than inhibit, its fun, thanks to the optional 'Dynamic Ride Control' that bins its air suspension for a fluid-linked steel-spring setup. You still need be mindful it’s a big car, but keep the brakes squeezed into a corner and the rear will happily enliven. And boy, those brakes. Peering from behind the RS7's 10-spoke wheels are frisbee-sized carbon-ceramic discs. They don't bite aggressively, preferring a solid squeeze of the middle pedal before digging in, and proved no more effective during emergency stops from 100km/h than the Tesla. However, any feedback missing from the brakes is found at the Audi's tiller. It commands a much sharper front end and flows more information through to your palms. The variable rack's also deceivingly light, so it's easy to forget the heft attached to your steering inputs.


The Model S is devastating as a point-and-shoot weapon Of these two limos, it's the track day pick, which says a lot about the crucial difference between them on another point. The thought of zipping down to Phillip Island in the RS7, plundering around for a day before arriving home for supper, is a given. It’ll slurp lots of fuel, but it'd be a riot – especially with its carbon-ceramic brakes, trick suspension and locking rear diff. You can’t say the same for the Tesla. Sure, it’ll travel two hours from Melbourne, but there’s no certainty you’ll return that day. Because the only way to charge a Tesla ‘quickly’ is with a Tesla Supercharger, so trips must be planned with military precision. As of November 2016 there were eight Supercharger stations in Australia, half of them down the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne. Tesla claims a Supercharger will provide up to 270km range in 30 minutes (80 per cent charge in 40 minutes). With a special wall connector installed at your house you'll

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The numbers

One silent, the other deadlier Audi RS7 Performance 0-10km/h 0.31 0-20km/h 0.61 0-30km/h 0.91 0-40km/h 1.20 0-50km/h 1.50 0-60km/h 1.81 0-70km/h 2.10 0-80km/h 2.50 0-90km/h 2.93 0-100km/h 3.37 0-110km/h 3.89 0-120km/h 4.43 0-130km/h 5.03 0-140km/h 5.66 0-150km/h 6.36 0-160km/h 7.11 0-170km/h 7.92 0-180km/h 8.87 0-190km/h 9.90 0-200km/h 10.95 0-400m 11.29sec @ 202.79km/h 80-120km/h 1.93sec 100-0km/h 35.43m SPEED IN GEARS 1st: 62km/h @ 6800rpm 2nd: 93km/h @ 6800rpm 3rd: 138km/h @ 6800rpm 4th: 175km/h @ 6800rpm 5th: 227km/h @ 6800rpm 6th: 291km/h @ 6800rpm 7th: 305km/h @ 5975rpm* 8th: 305km/h @ 4750rpm*

Tesla Model S P90D 0-10km/h 0.29 0-20km/h 0.56 0-30km/h 0.83 0-40km/h 1.10 0-50km/h 1.38 0-60km/h 1.67 0-70km/h 2.01 0-80km/h 2.40 0-90km/h 2.84 0-100km/h 3.36 0-110km/h 3.92 0-120km/h 4.59 0-130km/h 5.31 0-140km/h 6.14 0-150km/h 7.06 0-160km/h 8.15 0-170km/h 9.45 0-180km/h 10.91 0-190km/h N/A 0-200km/h N/A 0-400m 11.68sec @ 184.73km/h 80-120km/h 2.12sec 100-0km/h 35.44m SPEED IN GEARS 1st: 250km/h* N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

As tested by MOTOR: Heathcote Dragway, 11:30am, 13 degrees Celsius, dry. Driver: Louis Cordony. *Manufacturer’s claim (limited)

get a full charge from nada in five hours. With the 240V lead in the boot at any powerpoint, 10 hours. Track day? Grab a good book. Or two. As a result most time in the Tesla on rural drives is spent worrying whether you'll make the next stop, or if you're using too much fan. Strict urban trips between a connector at home and work wouldn’t be a problem, and the Model S is a brilliant stab at electric transport, but at $281K as-tested you would've hoped range is something you'd never have to think about. Alas, electric cars still have some way to go. Our P90D's options list stretches long and Ludicrous Mode, for instance, is quite a sting as a $15K option, while ‘smart’ air suspension and premium audio add $3800 each. The heated steering wheel and seats cost $1500, and luxury like Nappa leather, a powered tailgate and interior lighting are packaged for $4500. These things are taken for granted in the Audi. The blue stitched lever boot, steering wheel and seats, offset against carbon inlays, lift its premium vibe, while its 14-speaker Bose sound setup is up two speakers on the Tesla’s optional system. However, when the RS7 starts $50K dearer, it should be. Back in the Tesla, Apple nerds will find the huge 17-inch touchscreen a cinch – and pinch – to use, far more intuitive than the Audi’s MMI, and the Tesla's controversial Autopilot system ($3800) is more advanced than anything we’ve tried. It’ll change lanes for you, and the way it scribes an arc through bends is

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The technology in Tesla's Model S makes most cars feel archaic. Autopilot driving is scarily effective, while the air suspension can automatically raise or lower at set destinations


Power Limits

568kW? Err, some of the time, at least

YOU WON’T find the Model S's power outputs on Tesla’s website. Last year it came under fire from owners in Norway who found their cars weren’t making the advertised ratings, prompting Tesla to pull down power figures and release a

statement on why. Put simply with the P90D as an example, its 568kW/967Nm combined output is what both motors can produce at shaft with full power. JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer, admitted that’s not very often, as the

batteries deplete in use, losing voltage and the ability to supply 568kW. With only 52 per cent charge at Heathcote, its 184.73km/h trap speed makes more sense, but has us wondering what 0-100km/h is possible with a fuller 'tank'. – LC

Apple nerds will find the screen a cinch – and pinch – to use

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Legislators the world over are looking to put the brakes on cars like the RS7 Performance

Power brokers The present vs the future? BODY DRIVE ENGINE BORE/STROKE COMPRESSION POWER TORQUE POWER/WEIGHT TRANSMISSION WEIGHT SUSPENSION (F) SUSPENSION (R) L/W/H WHEELBASE TRACKS STEERING BRAKES (F) BRAKES (R) WHEELS TYRE SIZES TYRE PRICE PROS CONS

AUDI RS7 PERFORMANCE

TESLA MODEL S P90D

4-door, 5-seat sedan all-wheel drive 3993cc V8, DOHC, 48v, twin-turbo 84.5 x 89.0mm 9.3 445kW @ 6100-6800rpm 700Nm @ 1750-6000rpm (750Nm, 2500-5500rpm, on overboost) 231kW/tonne 8-speed automatic 1995kg multi-link, adaptive dampers, steel springs, anti-roll bar multi-link, adaptive dampers, steel springs, anti-roll bar 5102/1911/1419mm 2915mm 1634/1625mm electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion 420mm ventilated/drilled carbon-ceramic discs, 6-piston calipers 356mm ventilated/drilled carbon-ceramic discs; single-piston caliper 21.0 x 9.0-inch (f/r) 275/30 ZR21 98Y (f/r) Pirelli P Zero R01 $305,440 (tested) Autobahn crushing speed; tough looks; noise Huge standard price; no autobahns in Oz

4-door, 5-seat sedan all-wheel drive Dual AC induction electric motors N/A N/A 568kW (193kW front motor; 375kW rear) 967Nm

science fiction stuff. Bigger picture, though, we suspect there’s not much the P90D offers over lesser models. Besides mindbending speed and more range, the carbon lip spoiler and red brakes are the only giveaways you’ve stumped up for the range-topper. Sure, Tesla buyers aren't the superficial kind, but a big part of a performance car is how it makes you feel. Even by Audi standards, the RS7's looks alone will blip your pulse. Those 21-inchers, rear diffuser, Matrix LED headlights and scooped front bumper could part traffic like Highway Patrol under Code One. On top of that, not only can the RS7 fling you and the in-laws to warp nine faster than any four-door on sale here, but there are more things to enjoy during the experience. The gruff burp on upshifts; or knowing hot gases flowing through turbos hidden a metre from you are responsible for its baritone growl.

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247kW/tonne single-speed reduction gear 2300kg double wishbone, air dampers, anti-roll bar multi-link, air dampers, anti-roll bar 4790/1964/1445mm 2960mm 1661/1699mm electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion 356mm ventilated discs, 4-piston fixed calipers 366mm ventilated discs, 4-piston fixed calipers 21.0 x 8.5-inch (f/r) 245/35 ZR21 XL (f); 265/35 ZR21 101Y (r) Michelin Pilot Super Sport TO $281,940 (tested) Jet-like thrust; outstanding tech; eco-cred Uninspiring drive; looks a little tame; range

The P90D, on the other hand, doesn't trade on emotion. Rather, it feels like Tesla built it because it could. Imagine if the R8's V10 fitted in the base A7's nose perfectly, Audi built it and then dusted its hands. It didn’t sharpen the suspension, grip, or toughen its look to suit. It would feel unresolved. Don't get us wrong, this mental Model S is seriously impressive. But the Audi even more so. Sharper, sexier, and more luxurious, it ripped three-tenths out of its claimed 0-100km/h time, virtually matching the Tesla to triple figures, before charging on to become the fastest production sedan we’ve ever tested. Legislators the world over are looking to put the brakes on cars like the RS7 Performance; members of Germany’s own parliament have called for a 'ban' on new internal combustion engines by 2030. But while the Tesla Model S promises an accomplished alternative, for now we'll take the Audi. M

Progress for the Model S moves fast. Tesla's already upgraded the P90D with a 100kWh battery, known as the P100D, out in 2017 and capable of 0-100km/h in 2.7sec!


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Geek speak The complicated explaned by J A M E S W H I T B O U R N

WRC's 2017 Rules

Think current cars are fast? You ain't seen nothin' yet

R

ULE CHANGES for the 45th season of the FIA World Rally Championship are set to usher in a new chapter that’s evocative of the sport’s golden Group B era (1982-’86). We’re set to get our first taste of wilder, be-winged machines, with almost a third more grunt than current cars, at the season opener in Monte Carlo’s Gap, Hautes-Alpes on January 20. Meanwhile, rule-makers suggest that something of a return to the spectacular attitudes – and aesthetic – of Group B, while maintaining, if not improving, safety is the aim of the rule rework. Okay, quick history lesson: Group B came to an abrupt end in 1986, banned by then-FISA president Jean-Marie Balestre within hours of Finn Henri Toivonen and his Yankee co-driver Sergio Cresto’s fiery fatal crash in their Lancia Delta S4 in the Tour de Corse. A year earlier the same rally had claimed the life of Attilio Bettega at the wheel of his Group B Lancia 037, to say little of the other near-misses and spectator deaths. It had become starkly obvious that the show could

not go on. The title of Group B doco Too Fast To Race (a must-watch) aptly summarised the rise and demise of this spectacular chapter in World Rally, and provides an education to kids raised on Group A Celicas and Imprezas on why we’ll never see a true repeat of Group B. Yet we remain excited by the new regs, which begin by allowing a broader variety of production cars to be eligible for homologation. Greater design freedoms will give 2017’s machines a more dramatic silhouette, and transform their aero performance to bring higher corner speeds and a slashing of stage times. Engine size won’t change, but a bigger turbo restrictor will improve airflow for a healthy kick up in the kilowatt department, without

differentials make a return, allowing for constantly variable torque flow. The result? You guessed it, a wilder spectacle and more speed. Then there are the new protagonists. Toyota, a WRC force in the 1990s, will return after 18 years with its Yaris WRC Program, overseen by four-time champ Tommi Mäkinen. We’ll lose Volkswagen Motorsport in 2017 in the aftermath of Dieselgate, but Citroën will return full time after a part-time campaign in 2016. Modern day WRC cornerstones Ford and Hyundai will be back, too, the latter with a three-door, WRC version of its i20. A reworked calendar designed to mix gravel and tarmac rallies is set to deliver more variety to fans

Group B came to an abrupt end in 1986 – it was obvious the show could not go on increasing boost. Shaving weight, as ever, will heighten handling, and make the cars more accelerative. Electronically-controlled centre

and drivers alike, but we’ll have to wait for Rally Australia, and the final round in Coffs Harbour, NSW, to get an up-close look at WRC’s exciting next chapter. M

S for Stillborn

Monsters that weren't to be THE FATE of the Group S regulations proposed for season 1987 was sealed with the demise of the wild Bs. The new set of regs, though designed to foster innovation and increase safety, were still considered by some to be too unhinged in the wake of the Group B tragedies of ’86. Group S made side, front and vertical impact tests integral to the homologation process, mandated steel roll cages, and brought aero limits, and a ban on plastics and inflammables. Minimum weight was a mere 1000kg however power was pegged at about 225kW – 300bhp to be precise – from an atmo 2.4-litre engine or a turbocharged 1.2. – JW

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Engines won't increase in size but weight shaving and bigger turbos will hopefully make the WRC more exciting than ever


In a nutshell

The 2017 changes 1 MORE CARS

Freer rules will allow any production car at least 3.9m long to be eligible as a WRC car, opening up new possibilities for manufacturers and bringing the potential for new-found diversity in the dirt (or snow, or tarmac).

2 BIGGER TURBOS Engines are set to stay as 1.6-litre turbo fours but an increase in restrictor size from 33mm to 36mm will lift power from the current 230kW to around 280kW. This brings the WRC in line with World Touring Car Championship regulations. Maximum boost pressure remains at 2.5bar absolute, which translates to 36psi, or 22psi on the boost gauge, which reads relative to atmospheric pressure.

3 LOSING WEIGHT Teams will be able to strip 25kg out of the monocoque, which mightn’t sound much, but every kilo counts at this level. Total minimum weight will drop to 1175kg (1325kg with two crew).

4 BIGGER WINGSPAN Maximum allowable front and rear overhang increases by 60mm and 30mm respectively, while more pronounced side sills and bigger rear wings will increase downforce. Aero devices are now allowed ahead of the front wheels, the rear diffuser can protrude by up to 50mm and brake cooling ducts can be cut into the wheelarches.

5 SPEED ADDICT Modelling suggests the combination of the extra power and grip will result in cars up to 2sec/km faster than the current machines. Over a typical 300km rally, that's 10 minutes...


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Titanium Multi-tool $408

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Piloti Competizione $299 piloti.com.au

Simpson Racing Helmet $659

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With rounded heels, FIA certification and anklestrap, practising throttle blips has never been so comfortable.


The Garage Long term diaries

pics ALEX RAE

FUEL THIS MONTH 14.9L/100KM | AVERAGE 15.1L/100KM | DISTANCE THIS MONTH 1070KM | TOTAL 14,055KM

Dirty Deeds Time for the Redline to earn its keep as a workhorse MONTH

four Liked

Getting the dirty jobs done

Disliked

Worrying about tyres being nicked

I

DON’T GO to church.

While realistically a Commodore

had the hard tonneau been fitted, I

Nor do I have any pigs

Sportwagon could also accommodate

wouldn’t have been able to carry all

that need ferrying to

these items, the ute’s plastic tray

the tyres. The best of both worlds

market on a Monday.

liner is a lot more durable than the

appears to be a canopy; mounting

wagon’s carpeted load area.

70-odd kg high over the rear end isn’t

Nonetheless, having a modern interpretation of Lew Bandt’s coupe-

MOMENT Hearing that V8 roar every day

carry 16 rally tyres – eight of them

balance but you could always

handy for a multitude of reasons.

used and encrusted in dirt – in the

remove it for track days – or just rock

Holden’s SS ute cops a bit of a flak for

back of a wagon, whereas they were

the quasi-Sandman look.

not being a ‘real’ ute, and it’s true that

happily thrown in the tray. This

with a maximum payload of 646kg

experiment did reveal a couple of

have been limited to carting the

you’re not going to cart a tonne of

shortcomings, however. If you’re

scissor lift during this year’s Bang

topsoil with it (though that’s also true

going to leave anything valuable

For Your Bucks – hardly very taxing.

of a few full-size utes).

in the tray overnight – like, say, a

However, having previously towed

couple of grand’s worth of rubber, but

cars with an SV6 without difficulty

Redline as a coupe with a big boot,

equally a tool box, etc – then you’re

– which would be right at the limit of

but there are plenty of occasions

going to want to invest in a lockable

the ute’s 1600kg towing capacity –

where this amount of space is useful.

hard tonneau cover, three styles of

it’s difficult to see why a 6.2-litre V8

Need to carry a couple of bikes? Or

which are available from Holden

would make it any harder.

flat-pack furniture? Or timber from

ranging from $2970-$3600.

the hardware store? All no problem.

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going to do much for the handling

utility concept has been extremely

It is more accurate to think of the

favourite

For example, I wouldn’t want to

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But that creates another issue, as

Sadly, the Redline’s towing duties

As for why the auto-equipped sedans are rated to tow 500kg more,


Holden says the sedan has a stiffer bodyshell – just as a convertible is bendier than a coupe, so too is a ute bendier than a sedan. On a slightly different note, we also took the opportunity to run our

It is more accurate to think of the Redline ute as a coupe with a big boot

long-termer down the strip. With a couple of track sessions and a few thousand road kilometres under its

Details (left) snapped when the car was shiny and new – things have gotten a little dirtier since then (above)

belt, the rear tyres aren’t exactly in pristine condition, but it nonetheless managed 0-100km/h in 5.12sec and a 13.21sec quarter mile at 178.37km/h, only a couple of tenths off its claims. Unless I was having a particularly uncoordinated day, the gearbox is starting to show its age a little after thousands of hard press kays, as beating the synchros on the one-two shift was a regular occurrence. It also provided another opportunity to activate the onefoot rollout function on the VBox, which we’ll do with all our regular performance testing from now on. The result was 0-100km/h in 4.9sec and a 13.0sec quarter at an identical 178.4km/h, so a 12.8 or similar should be achievable at the Wednesday night drags. – SN

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It’s tempting

b y M O T O R S TA F F

Performance treasure hunt

NEW $141,500

NEW $146,900

2002 Mercedes C32 AMG Silky seats, big six NOW $19,990

six, delivering peak power at a howling 7900rpm(!). This proved sprightly enough for it to hit 100km/h in 5.38sec. On top of this was its handling. At Bang For Your Bucks 2002 we called its chassis “beyond criticism”, relishing its ride, control and accuracy. Our only disappointment was with the

TWO-DOORS offer only so much practicality, but Mercedes-Benz has you covered if you need to stow kids and want a six-cylinder German of the same vintage. Stuttgart’s C32 AMG lived at the same time as the M3, but cut its cake by stuffing a 3.2litre supercharged V6 into the humble C-Class. It wasn’t as sharp and its

optional roboticised-manual automatic SMG transmission. There are a few SMG-free examples floating around for under $30K, but their odos nudge close to 200,000km. Better-kept manual examples ask up to $50K, but for one of yesterday’s legends to offer such choice makes ownership mighty tempting.

auto was a little sleepy, so it lapped Wakefield Park two seconds slower than the BMW at BFYB 2002. But its 260kW/450Nm pushed it across the quarter mile a touch faster in 13.49sec. The C32 suited a more relaxed personality, which seems to be reflected in its price, as we’ve found one at 104,000km-old for $19,990.

The unique car you want is now easier to find 124

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au

90

2002 BMW M3

Considered the lineage’s high point, the E46 M3 exudes appeal even to this day

EARLIER THIS issue we suggested that while talented, BMW’s M4 lacks something in in the character department. This wasn’t always the case. Its predecessor, the M3, may have lacked turbocharging, but compensated with revs and drama. BMW engineers extracted 252kW and 365Nm from its 3.2-litre atmo straight

NOW $29,9

2002 MERCEDES-BENZ C32 AMG

The C32’s demure looks spoke softly while its single-cam blown six punched hard

2002 BMW M3 Straight-six howler offers range of picks


Chart attack Demons, duds & debutants

Fast car sales October 2016

FAST CARS: people want ’em! Performance car sales are looking very healthy this month – Bentley’s and Rolls-Royce’s coupes and convertibles beat their sedan counterparts, supercars took three slots in our top movers, and the sun shone bright on Mazda’s and BMW’s roadsters. Down below, though, Morgan, Lotus and Alfa struggled this month – again. Meanwhile Subaru sold nothing waiting for the refreshed BRZ.

Coming soon FORD’S Mustang hasn’t been around long enough to register a YTD, but it’s been selling so well it deserves an early mention. This month 584 Mustangs sold, but it’s the year’s total that astonishes. At 5205 units, that’s more than our top and bottom ten put together. And interestingly, 1483 more than the Falcon.

584 SOLD

Top ten movers CAR Mercedes-AMG GT BMW 7 Series BMW Z4 Mazda MX-5 McLaren Rolls-Royce ‘coupe’ Audi R8 Porsche Cayman Bentley ‘coupe’ Lamborghini

SEPT 11 27 16 148 5 3 9 41 9 10 e 268

To CAR SEPT Morgan 1 Lotus Elise 0 Alfa Romeo 4C 5 Subaru BRZ 0 Citroen DS3 3 BMW i8 2 Bentley ‘sedan’ 2 Chrysler 300 33 Mercedes-Benz SL 7 Renault Sport Megane 145

OCT 8 9 21 97 4 4 9 15 14 6 267

YTD 123 229 174 1387 59 19 60 275 85 120 1827

YTD +/324% 275% 211% 206% 103% 73% 62% 52% 44% 43% 30.4

rs OCT 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 30 6 51

YTD 5 7 64 246 32 29 20 399 43 919

YTD +/-75% -65% -55% -54% -52% -48% -48% -48% -43% -37%

the

HEAT

WINNERS AND LOSERS OF OCTOBER 2016

-48

2016/2017

December Audi S4

Comes with a new 260kW turbo six-pot. Audi SQ7 TDI Turbo diesel electric super SUV. Alfa Romeo Giulia Alfa’s 3 Series-fighting sedan debuts. Holden Astra SR Mercedes-AMG E43 AMG-lite V6 makes its way into new E-Class. Toyota 86 Tweaked suspension and drivetrain with minor styling updates.

2017

Audi RS3 Sedan New-alloy five-pot drops into four-door RS. Audi RS4 Audi TT RS Flagship coupe arrives with hot alloy five pot. Audi R8 Spyder

PER CENT

WE’RE not surprised Bentley’s coupes outsold sedans more than four to one. Despite there being both the Mulsanne and Flying Spur, there are double the variants for the the Continental. Then, to make matters worse, the Mulsanne, also half the sedan range, is a $662K ticket. A third more expensive than the cheapest Continental.

Rag-top V10 rocket locks on to Ferrari’s 488 Spider. BMW M760Li XDrive Firm’s quasi-M7 arrives with twin-turbo V12. BMW 5 Series Planned to be lighter, faster, more comfortable. Porsche Panamera Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Combines GT3 RS chassis with Turbo S-beating power. Be very,

d

very afraid. HSV GTS-R W1 Due for 476kW LS9 from Stateside. Honda Civic Type R

Honda NSX Superb return to form. At $420K the challenge will be selling them. Hyundai i30 N Hyundai’s first proper attempt at a hot hatch.

Lexus LC500 All-new Lexus flagship. Mazda MX-5 RF Folding hardtop mite from Hiroshima. Mercedes-AMG GT R AMG’s 911 GT3 RS eater. Nissan NISMO range Frightening 441kW GT-R now locked in for a Feb arrival. Costing $299K. Porsche Macan Turbo

Performance pack Hotted up Macan scores more power and dynamic upgrades. Range Rover autobiography Land Rover slips SVR engine into flagship SUV. Tesla Model S P100D Musk’s shockingly quick (guffaw!) Model S lands with hi-po battery. Volvo S60 Polestar Hot Swede returns with new four-pot.

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17x7.5 5 18x8

rohwheels.com rohwh


Skid marks

David Morley “The minute they make something idiot-proof, somebody else comes up with a better idiot”

F

OR 90 PER cent of people out there – let’s just call them the moron collective – autonomous cars are likely to be a Good Thing. Those same people will then be free to apply their make-up, message their cat, update their Nerdbook status and eat their breakfast; basically, all the things they currently do at the wheel, just a bit more safely. And, yes, this would be good. Possibly for all of us. Which just leaves 10 per cent of us to suffer the indignity of having our cars do the driving for us. Indignity? Yeah, because operating a motor vehicle still appeals to me (and I’ll include you, because you’re reading this) on the basis of taking matters into our own hands. For a bloke like me, this equals pride and a sense of personal worth. Dignity, in other words. It’s why I try to drive well; it’s something I’m proud to be able to do. I get the same feeling when I’m dodging trees on my mountain bike. I get it when I’m fixing something in the shed. I get it when I’m operating power tools. I don’t get it when doing mundane tasks like riding in an elevator or watching TV. Two things are making me feel this way when I’m biking, fixing or dimming the lights in the rest of the street by powering up a 10-inch angle-grinder. The first is that feeling of taking control I mentioned earlier. The second is that there’s an element of risk to all this. Now, that same 10-inch grinder in my paws is probably skewed towards risk rather than control so, at some point, I have to make the decision about how I tackle it. That’s where being the master of your own destiny comes into it. We already have three distinct levels of government, change fearing conservatives everywhere and Political Correctness police stifling our ability to decide stuff for ourselves. But to have our freedom to drive our own car taken away from us… well, at that point, The Man is throwing our pride and dignity under a (driverless) bus. The good news is that I can’t see autonomous cars becoming the rule rather than the exception in my lifetime. I can’t conceive of a government anywhere with the requisite stones to greenlight the deal (and if one does, I’m buying shares in one of those ambulance-chasing legal firms) nor can I see on the horizon a government with the will to tackle what would be a massive infrastructure project. These days, if it doesn’t happen in time for the next election, it doesn’t happen. Nation building? What the hell’s that? It’s this clear level of democratic neglect that has seen us go from a country that started two car manufacturers from scratch over 12 years, to one that

is in the process of closing up shop on three car manufacturers in 12 months. Let that wash over you. The other problem is that some car-makers are pretty smug about their talents in this autonomous-driving department. But let me assure you, five decades on this planet has taught me one very important thing: the minute they make something idiot-proof, somebody else comes up with a better idiot. I recall a car launch in the early days of ESP technology where the PR muppet proudly told me I wouldn’t be able to make his car oversteer. At about 25 degrees of yaw, he admitted he may have been wrong. Physics, gravity, laws of nature – those old chestnuts. ESP, ABS, traction-control, lane-departure, blind-spot monitoring, active cruise control – none of these inventions have made cars uncrashable. Neitherwill autonomous operation. It will simply be different factors that lead to the inevitable shunt. Won’t affect me, though: they’ll be building a ski-run in hell before I sign up for an autonomous car. If anybody needs me, I’ll be out in the shed with my angle-grinder. M

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Side swipe

Tim Keen “Wouldn’t selling cars for millions of dollars be better than NOT selling cars for millions of dollars?”

I

S THERE ANY industry besides automotive that shows off concepts that bear so little resemblance to the finished product? Imagine Tim Cook rocking onstage at an Apple event showing off an iPhone that could project holographic videos like R2-D2 and a new Siri that could predict the winning lotto numbers, but when you get to the store it’s just the same phone as last year except there’s no headphone jack. The queue of Apple nerds outside the Steve Jobs Memorial Glass Cube would smash it to pieces with their shoes. Or imagine a movie trailer that showed car chases and explosions, but when you bought a ticket and sat down to watch it, it was a period drama about clockmaking. At first you’d worry that you’d walked into the wrong theatre, but no, there’s the title on the screen, and it’s the same title as the trailer except there’s no explosions, just Maggie Smith glaring primly at you for two hours. You’d go and throw a choc-top at the cinema manager and hope it hits him pointy-end first. But when it comes to concept cars, it’s just accepted that we get teased with science-fiction wonder-mobiles, but by the time they’re in showrooms, they’re just the same modular platform and the same engines but, oh look, the headlights are a bit like the ones on the concept, but less interesting. Hyundai rolled out their i30 RN30 concept at Paris recently – it has scissor doors. Scissor doors! And outputs only marginally less than the F35 Strike Fighter! But do we get to buy one? Do we arse. For sheer dashed expectations, there’s nothing outside the burger photos on milkbar menus that compares with it. So here’s an idea: concept car homologation rules. You can build concepts as wild as you like – in fact, the wilder the better – but you have to offer a certain number for sale to the general public. Never mind “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” – it’d be “show in Frankfurt, sell in Grafton”. It would be a win-win, because we’d be able to buy the really good ones – like the Hyundai Strike Fighter, or the Honda 2&4 from Frankfurt last year, which looked like the love-child of a 1960s F1 car and a CBR1100. And then the really weird ones – the LSDflavoured ones, the Bladerunner dystopian Mario-karts that Toyota

engineers turn out after a manga-inspired fever dream – would die out and save everyone from pretending to care about them. Not street legal? Too dangerous for human consumption? Who cares? There’s still a market for bonkers track-day specials, or you could just drive them in the Middle East, where getting a car up on two wheels is just how people commute. Even SEMA, which basically thrives on wildly impractical freak-out mobiles: every year Jeep rolls out a cluster of utterly fantastic mods and concepts that make even the most ardent stance-lover dream of going rock-hopping. And then the next round of Jeeps are just Wranglers with red bits glued on them. Do it, Sir Sergio Fiat-Chrysler! Release the SEMA beasts! We want them! We will pay for them! Remember Holden’s brilliant Efijy concept? Of course you do – everyone does, it’s as memorable as your first kiss, and a good deal less sloppy in execution. And everyone knows that Holden had million-dollar-plus offers from various Richie Rich types around the world who wanted one for themselves; but Holden demurred, because actually making money wasn’t part of their business model (which also explains the Holden Nova). I’m no accountant – for which I thank the mercy of Xenu and Baby Jesus – but wouldn’t selling cars for millions of dollars be better than NOT selling cars for millions of dollars? Now there’s a concept for you. M

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4 0 0

C A R S

R A T E D

Hot Sour e Fast guide to quick cars Hot Source explained

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

All performance figures are manufacturer claims, those in italics are as-tested by MOTOR. Figures for an automatic variant have an asterisk. Prices listed are manufacturer RRP, exclusive of on-roads. “DA” denotes driveaway price. Italicised fuel consumption figures are those collected on test. Engines are listed by configuration, capacity and means of induction. For example, I4/1.6T= turbocharged 1.6-litre inline four. Power figures made by an engine’s over-boost function are contained in brackets. Red denotes new addition. Green denotes a model update.

ENGINE

• • • •

PRICE

TESTED

Craptacular Bit average Pretty good Excellent Shangri-la

MODEL

1 11 111 1111 11111

Powered by

www.fiat.com.au/abarth

Abarth 595 Oct 16 $27,500 (5m) $29,500 (5s)

I4/1.4T

104/5500 206/2000 front

1035 101

7.9

5.4

Abarth entry point now much cheaper; funky looks; rorty engine Drop in power gives it questionable fast car credentials

$31,500 (5m) $33,500 (5s)

I4/1.4T

104/5500 206/2000 front

1076 97

7.9

5.4

Cheap way to have the wind in your hair Tough to take it seriously as a performance car

595 Turismo Nov 14 $34,000 (5m) $36,000 (5s) 11333

I4/1.4T

118/5500

230/3000 front

1035 114

8.99 16.55

5.4

Great drivetrain; looks good; cheaper than before Still way too expensive; major handling and ride issues

595 Competizione Oct 14 $40,000 (5m) $42,000 (5s) 11333

I4/1.4T

118/5500

230/3000 front

1035 110

7.4

5.4

Monza exhaust is fantastic; reasonably fun to drive Avoid the MTA gearbox like the plague; it costs how much?

695 Biposto May 16 $65,000 (5m)

I4/1.4T

140/5500 250/3000 front

997

140

5.9

6.5

Lighter and more powerful; it has an optional dog ’box! The price is hilarious; you can option it to over $100K!

$41,990 (6m) $43,990 (6a)

I4/1.4T

125/5500

1060 118

6.8

More grunt never hurts; sharper handling; small price penalty Purity vs pace – choose your roadster

11233

595C

11333

11133

124 Spider

11113

250/2500 rear

www.alfaromeo.com.au

Alfa Romeo $42,000 (6dc)

I4/1.7T

177/5750* 340/2000 front

1299 133

6.02* 14.29* 6.8

4C May 15 $89,000 (6dc)

I4/1.7T

177/6000

350/2200 rear

1025 173

4.5

6.8

Clever constuction; a proper driving event Intrusive engine note; suspicions about its ride on Oz roads

$99,000 (6dc)

I4/1.7T

177/6000

350/2200 rear

1035 171

4.5

Carbon construction means little dynamic penalty Inconvenient DIY roof stowage

Giulietta Veloce 11123 11113

4C Spider

11113

Newly updated with 4C drivetrain; stylish looks Ride issues; intrusive ESP; driving position

www.astonmartin.com

Aston Martin V8/4.7

321/7300

490/5000 rear

1610 200 4.5

13.9

New entry-level Vantage cheaper with more grunt Ageing platform; strong rivals; Sportshift semi-auto flawed

V8 Vantage GT Roadster

$248,895 (6m) V8/4.7 $264,795 (7s)

321/7300

490/5000 rear

1690 190

More or less a budget Vantage S Roadster; epic noise Rigidity issues mean it’s not as sharp as the hardtop

V8 Vantage S

$254,200 (6m) V8/4.7 $270,100 (7s)

321/7300

490/5000 rear

1610 200 –

12.9

Lighter and sharper than the base car, sublime shape Needs an even stricter diet to match rivals

V8 Vantage S Roadster

$283,200 (6m) V8/4.7 $299,100 (7s)

321/7300

490/5000 rear

1690 190

12.9

Great compromise between show and go Robotised manual is a pain; getting expensive

V12 Vantage S

$354,300 (7s)

V12/5.9

421/6750

620/5750 rear

1665 253

3.9

16.3

Psychotic performance, with dynamics and looks to match Lacks the V8’s styling purity; frighteningly thirsty

V12 Vantage S Roadster

$385,800 (7s)

V12/5.9

421/6750

620/5750 rear

1745 241

3.9

16.3

Magic engine noise; sweet dynamics for a drop-top Lot of power for an open-top body; gearbox frustrates

DB11

$428,032 (8a)

V12/5.2TT 447/6500 700/1500 rear

1770 253

3.9

11.3

Turbo power thrusts DB closer to Vanquish performance New looks are proving divisive

V12/5.9

424/6650 630/5500 rear

1739 244

3.8

More power and eight-speed auto for MY15 Ride is now not very GT-like; thirsty

V8 Vantage GT 11123 11133 11123 11133

$219,895 (6m) $235,795 (7s)

4.8

11113 11113 11113

Vanquish Sep 14 $484,995 (8a)

11113

Vanquish Volante

$521,995 (8a)

V12/5.9

424/6650 630/5500 rear

1844 230

4.0

Carbonfibre construction should mean no loss of rigidity Scary pricetag; no Aston press cars in Oz

Rapide S

$382,500 (8a)

V12/5.9

411/6650

1990 207

4.9

Now has the power to match its jaw-dropping looks Rear seats really just for kids; small boot

11123 11133

630/5500 rear

d

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TOP 3

www.audi.com.au

Audi

HOT

A1 1.8 TFSI Sport Aug 15 $40,400 (7dc)

I4/1.8T

141/5400

S1 Sportback May 16 $49,900 (6m)

I4/2.0T

$46,100 (7dc)

250/1250 front

1205 117

6.9

170/6000 370/1600 all

1340 127

I4/2.0T

132/6200

250/1250 all

$61,100 (6m/6dc)

I4/2.0T

S3 Sedan Dec 14 $63,400 (6m/6dc)

5.9

Baby hot hatch with sharp looks and quality interior Hard to justify extra $12K over excellent VW Polo GTI base

5.68 13.89

7.1

Cracking pace; involving dynamics; looks quite cool With options it costs the same as S3, which makes no sense

1380 96

6.8

6.6

Quattro adds all-weather security and pace Extra 100kg hurts performance and economy

210/6500 380/1800 all

1425 144

4.94 13.21

10.2

More power and less weight makes S3 faster than ever Still feels a bit ‘safe’; we don’t get the Euro-spec 221kW

I4/2.0T

210/6500 380/1800 all

1450 142

5.0

6.9

Sleek looks; compact size; poky performance; value We’d still have the lighter hatch

$70,110 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

210/6200 380/1800 all

1620 130

5.5

7.1

Finally, a good-looking small convertible Inevitable compromises, but not as many as you’d think

RS3 Sportback Sep 16 $78,616 (6dc)

I5/2.5T

270/6800 465/1625 all

1520 178

4.23 12.42

8.1

Searing pace; warbly five-pot; improved dynamics Looks a bit sensible; could be more involving

A4 2.0 TFSI quattro Sport May 16 $69,900 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

185/6000 370/1600 all

1510

122

5.8

6.3

Beautiful inside and surprisingly capable Dynamic driving not really its priority

A4 Avant 2.0TFSI quattro Sport Aug 16 $72,900 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

185/6000 370/1600 all

1540 120

6.0

6.6

Just as capable as sedan but can swallow more stuff Not as sweet to drive as the 3-Series Touring

A5 2.0 TFSI

$75,395 (6m) $77,016 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

155/6000 350/1500 all

1510

103

6.4

6.8

11123

Sweet spot of the ‘non-S/RS’ A5 range; manual option Bang for your buck factor isn’t too flash

S5

$119,226 (7dc)

V6/3.0S

245/7000 440/2900 all

1675 142

4.9

8.1

Looks great, sounds great and drives nicely We miss the old V8 and its six-speed manual ’box

S5 Sportback

$119,226 (7dc)

V6/3.0S

245/7000 440/2900 all

1745 140

5.1

8.1

Offers plenty of pace in an inconspicuous body Umm... does that really sound appealing?

S5 Cabriolet

$129,226 (7dc)

V6/3.0S

245/7000 440/2900 all

1880 130

5.4

8.5

Brilliant V6 sounds mega with the roof down Body flex means it suffers in the bends

A6 3.0 TDI Biturbo

$124,855 (8a)

V6/3.0TTD 235/3900 650/1400 all

1835 123

5.0

6.1

Incredible power and torque make this A6 haul Diesel still lacks performance cred; heavy front end

$169,510 (7dc)

V8/4.0TT 331/6400

550/1400 all

1895 175

4.4

9.4

Classy, comfortable and bloody quick; huge grunt Lacks dynamic sparkle; sports exhaust is an option

$245,116 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 445/6800 700(750) all /1750

1950 228

3.7

9.7

A proper looking, fearsomely powerful wagon Weighs a bit; thirsty when pushed

$144,855 (8a)

V6/3.0TTD 235/4600 650/1450 all

1895 124

5.2

6.1

Brilliant cabin; one of the world’s best diesels Lacks the excitement of the blown V6

$179,510 (7dc)

V8/4.0TT 331/6400

550/2900 all

1955 171

4.57 12.69

9.3

Just like the S6 but with added style, inside and out Huge weight; not the most elegant of dancers

$257,716 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 445/6800 700(750) all /1750

1930 231

3.7

9.7

Svelte wind-cheating shape; plush air suspension Feels a bit boaty without optional DRC

A8 4.2 TDI May 11 $252,616 (8a)

V8/4.2TD 258/4000 800/1750 all

1995 148

5.5

7.6

Thunderous twin-turbo V8 diesel; first-class cabin Ride can’t match its rivals; you feel like a chauffeur

S8 Aug 14 $280,610 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 382/5800 650/1700 all

1915

199

4.1

9.6

Hilarious performance for a two-tonne limo Performance advantage irrelevant in Australia

$330,216 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 445/6800 700(750) all /1700

1915

232

3.8

10.2

Feels like a rocket-powered designer showroom Needs an autobahn to stretch its legs

TT 2.0 TFSI Sport May 15 $72,950 (6m) $76,355(6dc) 11113

I4/2.0T

169/6200 370/1600 front

1230 137

6.0

5.9

Great chassis; rorty exhaust note; great interior Evolutionary styling; pricey with options

TT 2.0 TFSI Sport Quattro Nov 15 $79,355 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

169/6200 370/1600 all

1335 127

5.32 13.64

6.4

Quattro adds traction and security; improves pace Adds more than 100kg and is not really needed

TT 2.0 TFSI Roadster Sep 15 $82,905 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

169/6200 370/1600 all

1410 120

5.6

6.4

Loses its roof, but retains that crucial sportscar feel Feels less potent than rivals; quattro only

TT S Sep 16 $99,855 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

210/6200 380/1800 all

1385 152

4.67 12.95

6.8

New TTS continues the tradition as a sweet steer Styled a little softly; spine-killing ride

$103,900 (6dc) I4/2.0T

210/6200 380/1800 all

1470 143

5.0

6.9

A high-tech, well-sorted convertible Costs the same as Porsche’s Boxster

$354,616 (7dc)

V10/5.2

397/8250 540/6500 all

1670 238

3.5

11.4

One of the cheapest tickets to supercar town; amazing engine No manual anymore; almost feels Spartan compared to Plus

R8 V10 Plus Aug 16 $389,616 (7dc)

V10/5.2

449/8250 560/6500 all

1630 275

3.2

12.3

Epic engine with epic noise; supercar looks; you could daily-drive it Chassis great, but still shaded by Porsche 911 GT3 and Ferrari 488

$84,216 (7dc)

I5/2.5T

270/6700 465/1625 all

1655 151

4.8

8.6

Updated model faster than ever; surprisingly fun in corners The ultimate oxymoron: performance off-road mini SUV?

$92,955 (8a)

V6/3.0TD 230/3900 650/1450 all

1995 115

5.1

6.8

Cracks its segment wide open; diesel sounds fantastic Tyre roar; punishing ride; jury’s out on the steering

$108,855 (8a)

V6/3.0TD 250/4300 700/1500 all

2000 125

5.1

6.8

Big-game grip with standard active sports diff Decent price jump over base SQ5

Continental GT V8

$402,600 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 373/6000 660/1700 all

2220 168

4.8

10.6

Not much slower than the W12; awesome soundtrack Still weighs too much; S worth the extra coin

Continental GTC V8

$443,700 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 373/6000 660/1700 all

2395 155

5.0

10.9

Superb quality; even better noise than hardtop Smaller engine occasionally struggles with the weight

11123

HATCHES

11113

A3 1.8 TFSI quattro

11133

1

ST

S3 Sportback Jun 14 11113 11113

Ford Focus RS $50,990 Handling wizardry

S3 Cabriolet 11123 11113

D

11123 11123

VW Golf R $52,740 Lifted its game markedly

3

11123

RD

11123 11133

M-B M B A45 AMG $78,315 Supercar slayer

11123

S6 Jun 15

11123

GONESKI

RS6 Performance Jul 16 11113

A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI Biturbo

11123

S7 Sportback Jun 15 11113

Falcon exits Hot Source forever A SAD and momentous occasion. This is the first issue of MOTOR since November 1960 not to have a Ford Falcon in the back-of-book specs. With production having ceased in early October, there may still be a handful of cars in dealer land but it’s time to bid farewell to the Aussie Falcon in the permanent pages of MOTOR.

RS7 Performance 11113 11123 11123

S8 Plus

11123

11113

11113 11113

TT S Roadster Jan 16 11113

R8 V10 Oct 15

11113 11113

($2706)

RS Q3 Performance 11123

SQ5 TDI Jul 13

11123

SQ5 TDI Plus 11123

www.bentleymotors.com

Bentley 11123 11123

134

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Fast guide to quick cars

KW/TONNE

Hot Source

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au


AUDI – BMW

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Australia’s Ultimate New Car Comparison Site whichcar.com.au

$427,900 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 389/6000 680/1700 all

2220 175

4.3

12.3

10.7

A superb luxury grand tourer; outrageously fast Too heavy; ride a bit jiggly on big wheels

Continent l GTC V8 S

$471,200 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 389/6000 680/1700 all

2395 162

4.7

11.1

Four-seat drop-top motoring par excellence Suffers a bit dynamically; a bit blustery top-down

Continental GT W12

$431,300 (8a)

W12/6.0TT 434/6000 720/1700

all

2245 193

4.3

14.2

Swift, quiet, smooth and opulent Looks a lot like the old one

Continental GTC W12

$474,600(8a)

W12/6.0TT 434/6000 720/1700

all

2350 185

4.5

14.6

As excellent as the V8, only faster and quieter More refined and less sporting in character

Continental GT Speed

$485,200 (8a)

W12/6.0TT 467/6000 820/1700 all

2245 208 4.2

14.5

More class, more power, more exclusivity Drinks like a bunch of Pommie soccer fans

Continental GTC Speed

$534,400 (8a)

W12/6.0TT 467/6000 820/2000 all

2350 198

4.4

14.9

World’s fastest four-seat convertible Surely the world’s most pointless accolade?

$378,197 (8a)

V8/4.0TT 373/6000 660/2000 all

2342 159

5.2

10.9

British alternative to an S63 AMG Not as fast or as dynamic as the Germans

Flying Spur W12 Dec 13 $423,160 (8a)

W12/6.0TT 460/6000 800/2000 all

2400 192

4.6

14.7

Huge pace; unbelievably comfortable ride Can’t hide from its heft; low-speed steering is a little heavy

Continental GT V8 S Jul 15 11113 11123 11123 11123 11113 11123

Flying Spur V8 11123 11123

Mulsanne

$662,858 (8a)

V8/6.75TT 377/4200

1020/1750 rear

2610 150

5.3

16.9

Opulent old-school Bentley surprisingly dynamic Looks cross-eyed; fearsomely expensive and thirsty

Mulsanne Speed

$733,387 (8a)

V8/6.75TT 395/4200 1100/1750 rear

2610 151

4.8

14.6

The torquiest car on sale in Australia – 1100Nm! (At 1750rpm!) 2.6 tonnes can only be so dynamic

$423,600 (8a)

W12/6.0TT 447/6000 900/1350 all

2440 183

4.1

13.1

A new standard in SUV performance and luxury It’s no oil painting; massive money

11133 11133

Bentayga

11113

125i Sep 12 $48,900 (6m/8a)

I4/2.0T

165/5000 310/1350

rear

1345 123

6.1

5.9

Torquey, responsive engine; decent steering Adaptive dampers a must-have; performance a little soft

M140i

$64,900 (6m/8a)

I6/3.0T

250/5500 500/1520 rear

1445 162

4.6

7.1

New B58 six brings more power, sooner Needs an LSD badly; still no looker; price has crept up

230i

$61,900 (6m/8a)

I4/2.0T

185/6500 350/1250 rear

1385 134

5.6

5.9

Possibly the sweetest choice in BMW’s line-up under $75K Could do with a little aesthetic venom

230i cabrio

$71,900 (6m/8a)

I4/2.0T

185/6000 350/1250 rear

1555 119

5.9

6.2

Removable roof doesn’t cost a bomb An Audi S3 Cabriolet is better looking and much faster

M240i

Ann 16 $74,900 (6m/8a)

I6/3.0T

250/6000 500/1300 rear

1455 172

4.6

7.1

Spec the optional LSD and it���s an absolute riot Struggles a bit without it; looks a bit plain

M240i cabrio

$83,900 (6m/8a)

I6/3.0T

250/6000 500/1300 rear

1620 154

4.7

7.4

Rorty six in a compact, good-looking summer package Huge weight and rigidity penalty over hardtop

I6/3.0T

272/6500 465(500) rear /1400

1495 182

4.55 12.82

8.5

A huge return to form for M Division; great value Firm ride; can bite inexperienced hands

$98,615 (6m/7dc)

I6/3.0T

272/6500 465(500) rear /1400

1520 179

4.3

7.9

DCT ’box makes M2 faster and more frugal We don’t have a long-termer – yet

330i

$69,900 (6m/8a)

I4/2.0T

185/5200

350/1450 rear

1470 126

5.9

5.7

Could be all the car you ever need: fast, frugal and fun 330i should be a six-pot; not a whole lot else

330i Touring

$73,300 (6m/8a)

I4/2.0T

185/5200

350/1450 rear

1540 120

6.0

6.1

The above with added practicality; wagon looks better Weight penalty costs it, but not a great deal

340i

$89,855 (6m/8a)

I6/3.0T

240/5500 450/1380 rear

1510

5.1

6.8

Quick, comfortable, and a great prospect to own Optional steering is awful; can struggle with power-down

11133

11123 11123

11113

11123

M2 Pure Sep 16 $89,615 (6m)

11112

M2 Jul 16

11112 11113 11113 11113

158

M3 May 15 $139,615 (6m/7dc)

I6/3.0TT 317/7300

550/1800 rear

1520 208 4.3

8.3

Looks sensational; brilliant chassis; massive performance Engine’s lost some M magic; tricky to drive in the wet

M3 Competition Sep 16 $144,615 (6m/7dc) 11113

I6/3.0TT 331/7300

550/1800 rear

1520 218

4.2

8.8

Sharper tool for fighting Merc-AMG’s C63 S Meaner exhaust note but still won’t have you tunnel-hunting

11113

430i

$79,855 (6m/8a)

I4/2.0T

185/6500 350/1250 rear

1470 126

5.9

5.8

Supreme balance; impressive torque; svelte thirst Dull cabin ambience; RIP the 3 Series coupe

430i Cabrio

$96,855 (6m/8a)

I4/2.0T

185/6500 350/1250 rear

1680 110

6.4

6.3

Capable and enjoyable drop-top; engine now sounds rorty Will be a top seller in Bondi and Toorak

440i

$99,855 (6m/8a)

I6/3.0T

240/6000 450/1200 rear

1525 157

5.0*

6.8

New name, same awesome all-’round ability Has lost some character; where’s the engine noise?

440i Gran Coupe Sep 16 $99,900 (6m/8a) 11113

I6/3.0T

240/6000 450/1200 rear

1585 151

5.1*

6.8

Niche filler actually very accomplished and desirable A lot of money; coupe roofline compromises vision

440i Cabrio

$117,615 (6m/8a)

I6/3.0T

240/6000 450/1200 rear

1740 138

5.4*

7.2

Arguably more fit for purpose than M4 Convertible No roof upsets balance between power/handling

M4

Mar 16 $149,615 (6m/7dc)

I6/3.0TT 317/7300

550/1800 rear

1497 212

4.62 12.57

11.3

Incredible grip and speed; simply amazing on a track Tricky in the wet; doesn’t look as good as the sedan

M4 Competition

Ann 16 $154,615 (6m/7dc)

I6/3.0TT 331/7300

550/1800 rear

1497 221

4.2

8.8

Grippy, pointy, and swear-word levels of acceleration Less skittish than normal M4? We’ll find out next month

M4 Convertible

Apr 15

I6/3.0TT 317/7300

550/1800 rear

1753 181

4.46* 12.61* 8.7

11133

$161,615 (6m/7dc)

Hugely fast; looks great; flash interior 250kg weight penalty over coupe hurts, well, everything

M4 Convertible Competition

$165,615 (6m/7dc)

I6/3.0TT 331/7300

550/1800 rear

1753 189

9.1

M4 exhaust does sound better without a pesky roof It’s how much heavier than the coupe?!

1510

3.8

-

The fastest BMW ever; a true 911 GT3 or R8 V10 Plus fighter Twice the price of an M4 Competition? Yet 25 coming to Oz all sold

11123 11123 11113

11123

11113

11113

11133

M4 GTS July 16 $294,715 (7dc)

11112

BABY

HATCHES

Ford Fiesta ST $27,490 Massive fun, tiny price

2

ND

$27,490 Mini hatch with muscle

RD www.bmw.com.au 3

BMW

11113

TOP 3

I6/3.0TT 368/6250 600/4000 rear

244

d

Audi S1 $49,900 Big-money pocket rocket

TOP 3

SEDANS UNDER

$75K $

1

$54,490 LS3 V8 makes it the king ND

$63,400 Practical performance

3

RD

$75,000 Loveable V8 grunt

m o t o r o f f i c i a l f m o t o r_ m a g

135


I6/3.0T

225/5800 400/1200 rear

1690 133

5.94 14.14

7.9

Huge performance in a grandad-spec package Not really a driver’s car; 528i just as real-world fast

535i Touring

$123,615 (8a)

I6/3.0T

225/5800 400/1200 rear

1785 126

5.8

8.0

A 535i that can swallow furniture... ...but not as much as a Mercedes E-Class Estate

M5 Pure

$185,715 (7dc)

V8/4.4TT 412/6800 680/1500 rear

1870 220

4.3

9.9

De-specced M5 an absolute bargain No mechanical tweaks; Competition Package not included

M5 Feb 14 $230,615 (7dc)

V8/4.4TT 423/6800 680/1500 rear

1870 226

4.95 12.87

18.5

Incredible performance yet also very comfortable Too big, too complicated; tricky to drive at the limit

640i Nov 15 $177,615 (8a)

I6/3.0T

235/6000 450/1300 rear

1660 142

5.3

7.8

Delicious engine; polished dynamics; looks great Lacks the kit and ultimate power of the 650i

640i Gran Coupe

$184,615 (8a)

I6/3.0T

235/6000 450/1300 rear

1750 134

5.4

6.2

Looks so much classier than a 5-Series It’d want to for the amount it costs

640i Convertible Aug 11

$193,615 (8a)

I6/3.0T

235/6000 450/1300 rear

1840 128

5.5

7.9

Stylish land yacht; smooth drivetrain Engine struggles a little with the weight; compromised ride on 20s

$231,615 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 330/5500 650/2000 rear

1770 186

4.6

8.9

Properly fast; sounds brilliant; heaps of presence Not much space inside for something this big

65 i Gran Coupe Feb 13 $238,615 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 330/5500 650/2000 rear

1865 177

4.6

8.9

Superb grand tourer; interior feels plush; best looking Six? You could buy an M5 and have change

$247,615 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 330/5500 650/2000 rear

1940 170

4.6

10.7

Looks great top up or down; stylish and fast drop-top Doesn’t handle like a 911; not as sexy as an Aston

M6 Dec 15 $292,315 (7dc)

V8/4.4TT 441/7000 700/1500 rear

1850 222

4.94 12.82

18.5

Hyperdrive acceleration; phenomenal grip; phat looks Feels big and remote to drive; poorly packaged

11123 11123

SEDANS

$75K– $150K ST

11113 11113 11123 11123 11123

650i

World-class performance

2

11113 11123

ND

650i Convertible

11123

BMW M3 - $ $139,615 A worthy M car

3

RD

11113

M6 Gran Coupe Jan 14

$299,315 (7dc)

V8/4.4TT 412/7000

680/1500 rear

1875 200 4.71

12.52

17.1

M styling makes Gran Coupe look even better Massive money; built for autobahns not backroads

M6 Convertible

$308,315 (7dc)

V8/4.4TT 412/7000

680/1500 rear

1980 208 4.3

10.3

Will blow your wig clean off in seconds! Way too heavy; scuttle shake with the roof down; the price

240/5500 450/1380 rear

1725 139

5.5

7.0

Comfy ride; high-tech interior; decent power Not as ballsy as a Mercedes S-Class

11133 11233

740i May 16 $224,155 (8a)

I6/3.0T

11113

Lexus GS F - $148,516 $ Good fun, good noise

750i

$289,315 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 330/5500 650/1800 rear

1820 181

4.7

7.9

Mega engine; capable in the corners; crushing tech New engine has no more power and less torque

750Li

$312,415 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 330/5500 650/1800 rear

1865 177

4.7

8.0

Enough room in the back to have a game of footy Limo for those that want to be driven, not drive

I4/2.0T

180/6500 350/1250 rear

1420 142

6.00 14.20 6.8

Solid turbo four and lighter drivetrain are a sweet combo Doesn’t sound very sporty; weird looks

I6/3.0TT 250/5900 450(500)/ rear 1500

1525 142

5.20

13.9

Uprated turbo six gives Z4 M-car pace Still not a threat to the Porsche Boxster S as the crispest drop-top

I3/1.5T(E) 266/5800 570/3700 all

1485 179

4.60 12.7

9.3

Proves green tech can be red hot; concept car looks Needs a more inspiring petrol engine

X4 xDrive35i Sep 14 $89,015 (8a)

I6/3.0T

1815

124

5.5

8.3

Impressive pace and agility for an SUV We’re still not sold on the whole coupe SUV concept

X5 xDrive50i May 15 $135,615 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 330/6000 650(700)/ all 2000

2175 152

5.0

9.7

Monster engine; luxurious interior; plenty of space Thirsty; dreadful steering; front-end styling

11113 11113

Z4 sDrive 28i Sep 12 $90,455 (6m/8a) 11133 Z4 sDrive 35is Aug 13 $119,415 (8a) 11133

i8 Feb 16 $298,955 (6a)

13.44

11113

225/6400 400/1200 all

11133 11133

X5 M50d Jan 14

$149,855 (8a)

I6/3.0TTTD 280/4400 740/2000 all

2190 129

5.3

6.7

Triple-turbo diesel six’s performance and economy Uninspiring soundtrack; not particularly alluring steering

X5 M Jan 16

$185,225 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 423/6500 750/2200 all

2275 186

4.2

11.1

Hysterical performance; cheaper than all its rivals Still a big lump to throw around; arcade game steering

X6 xDrive50i May 15 $152,215 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 330/6000 650(700)/ all 2000

2170 152

4.8

9.7

Almost as quick as the full house X6M for $30K less Why would you pay $10K more than an X5?

$159,455 (8a)

I6/3.0TTTD 280/4400 740/2000 all

2185 128

5.2

6.6

Diesel stonk and efficiency wrapped in a unique shell Acceleration feels more pragmatic than sporty

X6 M Aug 15 $194,025 (8a)

V8/4.4TT 423/6500 750/2200 all

2265 186

4.2

11.1

Frighteningly fast; defies the laws of physics in corners $9K more than X5M, then there’s rear passenger chiro bills

11123 11113 11133

X6 M50d

11133

FastBlast

11113

136

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

$117,615 (8a)

535i Jan 12

TOP 3

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Fast guide to quick cars

KW/TONNE

Hot Source

BMW 740Li AN ENTRY-level limousine might seem like an odd concept, but truth be told the 740Li could be all the 7 Series you ever need. It may only have the ‘little’ engine, but thanks to a 75kg weight reduction over its predecessor the excellent 3.0litre turbo six has no trouble summoning serious pace. The ride is sublime, it’s incredibly quiet and the overall dynamics excellent, but sadly true to BMW’s modern form the steering is utterly lifeless. The interior has more electronic trickery than a JB Hi-Fi, but with an extra 140mm of wheelbase in this ‘740L’ you’re more inclined to ignore the gadgets and just relax. Which is just as it should be in a limo. – SN

SPECS 3.0L INLINE-SIX, TURBO, 240KW/450NM, 1770KG PRICE $237,955

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au


Seven 275

$69,850 (5m)

I4/1.6

100/6100

160/4100 rear

590

170

5.5

6.2

Entry-level Caterham great fun to steer An emotional purchase – for the cash, there’s quicker

Seven 275 S

$83,300 (5m)

I4/1.6

100/6100

160/4100 rear

590

170

-

-

Just like the 275, but with leather, painted body, more grip Still no standard limited-slip diff; getting expensive

Seven 355

$86,900 (5m)

I4/2.0

127/7300

177/6000 rear

560

227

5.0

-

The Caterham for those who want more grunt Might feel a little Spartan for equipment

Seven 355 S

$93,900 (5m)

I4/2.0

127/7300

177/6000 rear

560

227

5.0

-

Extra little luxuries good if you do a lot of road driving Still only shorter trips if you want to take your partner

Seven 355 R

$99,800 (5m)

I4/2.0

127/7300

177/6000 rear

560

227

5.0

-

This on a track – driving doesn’t come much better You’ll seriously consider towing it there; don’t crash it

Seven CSR Nov 14 $103,300 (5m)

I4/2.0

127/7300

177/6000 rear

625

206 5.0

7.7

Delivers thrills with a few comforts All the foibles associated with Pommy track cars

Seven 485 S

$114,400 (6m)

I4/2.0

177/8500

206/6300 rear

675

262

3.9

-

The proper, full-fruit, no-electronics Caterham experience Expensive; sooks will find it very wearing over longer distances

Seven 485 R

$127,000 (6m)

I4/2.0

177/8500

206/6300 rear

675

262

3.9

-

Very special driving experience; unbeatable fun; giant-slayer 718 Boxster money for a car without a proper roof

11133

11133 11133

11113 11133 11123 11123 11113

V8/6.4

350/6150

637/4250 rear

1946 180

4.68 12.76

13.0

Incredible pace for the money; street cred Interior feels a litle cheap in places; no adaptive dampers

V8/6.4

350/6150

637/4250 rear

1965 178

Great value; loaded with kit; rides well; sounds brilliant No ballerina in the bends; frightening thirst

11113

300 SRT Jan 16

$75,000 (8a)

11113

$33,990 (6m)

I4/1.6T

121/6000

240/1400 front

1140 106

7.51

15.58

5.6

Trendy styling; playful and pliant chassis In dire need of a proper engine to make the most of it

DS3 DSport Cabriolet Jul 15

$36,590 (6m)

I4/1.6T

121/6000

240/1400 front

1165

7.5

5.6

Cute as a button; trendier than a hipster’s iPhone Would you really want to be seen driving it?

11133

104

11333

$409,888 (7dc) V8/3.8TT 412/7500

755/4750 rear

1730 238

3.6

10.5

Massive turbocharged grunt; looks much better Bit soft around the edges; inevitable poseur image

488 GTB Aug 16 $469,988 (7dc) V8/3.9TT 492/8000 760/3000 rear

1475 334

3.0

11.4

Ridiculously fast; ridiculously good looking Using all the performance is tricky; slight loss of character

488 Spider Dec 16 $526,888 (7dc) V8/3.9TT 492/8000 760/3000 rear

1525 323

3.0

10.45

11.4

Identical driving experience with even more involvement We miss the old soundtrack; not as stiff as the coupe

507/8000 697/6000 all

1920 264

3.4

15.4

A Ferrari with punishing performance and practicality Still not exactly pretty; scary fuel bills; heavy

545/8250 690/6000 rear

1525 357

3.1

15.0

Amazing engine, chassis and technology Not for inexperienced hands

11112 11111 11111

GTC4 Lusso Oct 16 $578,888 (7dc) V12/63 11112

M

F12 Berlinetta Apr 14 $690,745 (7dc) V12/6.3 11111

7.5

15.3

10.5

New Blue Oval hero; engine and handling top-notch Firm, jiggly ride; interior is a little low-rent

1362 135

6.4

14.7

7.4

Cracking engine; superbly adjustable handling; price Interior ergonomics; fake engine note; turning circle

257/6000 440(470) all /2000

1575 163

5.04 13.08

8.1

Huge pace; incredible dynamics; amazing value Ride quite firm; weighty beast; supply could be an issue

I4/23T

233/5700 432/3000 rear

1666 140

6.08 14.24

8.5

Don’t sneer, the four-pot Mustang is a great steer But a Mustang without a V8 just isn’t quite right

$54,990 (6a)

I4/23T

233/5700 432/3000 rear

1725 135

9.4

Great value for a head-turning convertible You don’t really get the Mustang thing, do you?

Mustang GT Sep 16 $57,490 (6m) $59,990 (6a) 11113

V8/5.0

306/6500 530/4250 rear

1739 176

5.35 13.40

13.1

Proper V8 muscle car now with added sophistication Interior lacks a little polish; l-o-n-g wait list

$66,205 (6a)

V8/5.0

306/6500 530/4250 rear

1811

12.7

Great looks; better access to the V8 soundtrack Poseur’s choice; getting heavy

Fiesta ST Aug 16 $27,490 (6m)

I4/1.6T

134(147)/ 5700

Focus ST Aug 15 $38,990 (6m)

I4/2.0T

184/5500 360/2000 front

Focus RS Dec 16 $50,990 (6m)

I4/2.0T

Mustang EcoBoost Oct 16 $45,990 (6m) $48,490 (6a) 11113

11112

240(290)/ front 1600

1197

112

11113 11112

11123

Mustang GT Convertible

169

11123

Barina RS Jan 14

$21,390 (6m) $23,590 (6a)

I4/1.4T

103/4900 200/1850 front

1249 82

6.5

Super cheap; reasonable levels of grip Doesn’t deserve an RS badge; it’s barely a performance car

Astra VXR Oct 15

$39,990 (6m)

I4/2.0T

206/5300 400/2400 front

1534 130

6.58 14.83

6.9

Searing pace from proper diff; muscly inline four; grip Not as playful as some rivals; mid-corner steering kickback

$51,990 (6a)

V6/2.8T

239/5290 435/5250 all

1809 128

6.3

10.9

Price cut means relaunched Insignia offers value for money She’s a heavy beast; auto limits torque output

$33,990 (6m) $36,190 (6a)

V6/3.6

210/6400 350/2900 rear

1680 125

9.0

VFII updates give SV6 real performance; that price! Doesn’t have the street cred of the V8

11113

Insignia VXR 11123

SV6 ute

11123

MERC-AMG C63 S $155,615 The new benchmark

2

ND

3

RD

BMW M5 Pure $184,715 Bargain bruiser

Jaguar XJR $300,275 Gentlemanly brute

www.holden.com.au

Holden 11333

ST

www.ford.com.au

Ford

Mustang EcoBoost Convertible

1

www.ferrari.com.au

Ferrari

M

$150K

www.citroen.com.au

Citroën DS3 DSport Oct 15

California T Jun 16

SEDANS OVER

www.chrysler.com.au

Chrysler 300 SRT Core Sep 16 $65,000 (8a)

TOP 3

www.caterhamcars.com.au

Caterham

M

BMW – FORD

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Australia’s Ultimate New Car Comparison Site whichcar.com.au

d

m o t o r o f f i c i a l f m o t o r_ m a g

137


TOP 3

$37,290 (6m) $39,490 (6a)

V6/3.6

210/6400 350/2900 rear

1688 124

9.0

V6 now much more refined; quality interior Doesn’t have the grunt of eight cylinders, notchy ’box

SV6 Sportwagon

$41,490 (6a)

V6/3.6

210/6400 350/2900 rear

1778 118

9.3

A great family car; economical, roomy and a great drive Not many people see it that way

SS ute Aug 16 $41,490 (6m) $43,690 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1726 176

5.10* 13.13*

12.8

Cheaper than ever; the new drift king Six-speed gearbox still not the slickest unit around

$44,990 (6m) $47,190 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1749 174

12.6

A world-class sports sedan; looks great in the right colour Bogan tag will still be hard to shake; weak brakes in standard trim

$49,190 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1855 164

12.9

Same as above but with lots of room for the dog VE rear-end styling clashes with VF front

SS V ute

$45,490 (6m) $47,190 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1744 174

12.8

Few better ways to carry your tools Payload means it can’t actually carry that many tools

SS V

$48,590 (6m) $50,690 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1765 172

12.6

Improved in every area; this is the best SS yet Buy one while you can, you’ll miss it when it’s gone

$52,690 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1867 163

12.9

Family hauler makes even more sense than VF sedan Getting up there in the kilo stakes – she’s 100kg heavier

$50,990 (6m) $53,190 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1755 173

12.8

A true track star for less than $50K! Does anyone actually take a ute on a track?

SS V Redline Sep 16 $54,490 (6m) $57,690 (6a) 11112

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1793 170

4.90 13.08

12.6

A Clubsport in Holden clothing Our best-ever performance Commodore is also the last

SS V Redline Sportwagon

$58,690 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1867 163

13.1

Who doesn’t love a performance wagon? Now auto-only which is a great shame

Calais V V8

$55,990 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1805 168

12.9

There are few better ways to travel interstate on Aussie roads Not as sharp as the SS, but that’s kinda the point

Calais V V8 Sportwagon

$57,990 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1867 163

12.9

A V8 sports-luxury wagon? Sounds about perfect Quite heavy and therefore thirsty

Caprice V-Series

$60,990 (6a)

V8/6.2

304/6000 570/4400 rear

1849 164

12.9

Superb ride; simply enormous inside; great to drive Only premium cab drivers will know how good it is

Insignia VXR

$51,990 (6a)

V6/2.8T

239/5250 435/2250 all

1836 130

6.5

11.3

Looks good; heaps of space; cheaper than in Opel guise Crap gearbox; too heavy; not that fast; flawed steering

$76,990 (6m) $79,490 (6a)

V8/6.2S

400/6150 671/4200 rear

1887 212

15.8*

$80,990 (6m) $83,490 (6a)

V8/6.2S

400/6150 671/4200 rear

1907 209 4.48* 12.55* 15.0*

$85,990 (6a)

V8/6.2S

400/6150 671/4200 rear

1974 203

4.54* 12.67* 15.0*

Awesome family hauler; coolest Aussie car there is? It’ll make the kids and dogs sick with this much grunt

Clubsport R8 Track Edition

$68,990 (6m/6a)

V8/6.2

340/6100 570/3850 rear

Trick GTS bits, howling atmo LS3 engine, what’s not to like? Very firm ride; not quite all it should be

Senator Signature

$92,990 (6m/6a)

V8/6.2S

400/6150 671/4200 rear

1902 210

15.0*

An HSV for the introvert; magnetic dampers are fab Not much, really, though you might as well buy the GTS

$86,990 (6a)

V8/6.2

340/6100 570/4650 rear

1844 184

12.9*

It’s $6K less than Senator; full-spec 340kW V8 Appealing to an incredibly small market; no LSA under its bonnet

V8/6.2S

430/6150 740/3850 rear

1903 226

4.31

12.37

18.2*

The best Aussie car ever. A brilliant achievement Doesn’t feel as fast as it should be; scary fuel thirst

11133

1

ST

11123

SS

11123

SS Sportwagon

11123

BMW X5M $185,225 Heavyweight athlete

2

ND

11123 11123

SS V Sportwagon 11123

SS V Redline ute Jun 16 11113

Range Rover S Spor $233,500 A V8 hot-hatch on stilts

11113 11113 11113 11123

GLE63S $189,615 Family-friendly speed

11133

www.hsv.com.au

HSV Maloo R8 LSA 11113

Clubsport R8 LSA Jun 16 11113

Clubsport R8 Tourer LSA Jan 16 11113 11113 11113

Grange

11123

GTS Aug 16 $95,990 (6m) $98,490 (6a)

11112

i30 SR Nov 14 $26,550 (6m) $28,850 (6a)

I4/2.0

129/6500 209/4700 front

1258 102

8.50 16.37

Clubsport chassis finally gets the grunt it deserves Massively thirsty; MRC not offered even as a option

8.2

A fine attempt at a warm hatch; old-school fun to drive Scary in the wet; three-mode steering a gimmick

Elantra SR Turbo

$28,990 (6m) $31,290 (7dc)

I4/1.6T

150/6000 265/1500 front

1360 110

7.7

Polished chassis; useable grunt; value Not a true performance car, but getting there

Veloster SR Turbo

$30,650 (6m) $33,150 (7dc)

I4/1.6T

150/6000 265/1750

1290 116

11133

7.81

15.50

7.1

Punchy engine gives Veloster the go to match its show Inert handling; struggles for traction

Genesis

$60,000 (8a)

V6/3.8

232/6000 397/5000 rear

1945 119

6.5

14.8

11.2

Comfortable, quiet, refined; good value; entertaining handling Still can’t shake its Hyundai-ness

11133 11123

Maloo GTS performance for $10K cheaper Bulky, ugly tonneau ruins the ute’s styling

www.hyundai.com.au

Hyundai

front

11133

www.infiniticars.com.au

Infiniti Q50 Hybrid S

$67,900 (7a)

V6/3.5E

268/6500 546/1470 rear

1775

151

5.1

-

6.8

Looks sharp; seriously quick for the cash Confused interior; powertrain calibration needs work

Q50 Hybrid S Premium

$73,400 (7a)

V6/3.5E

268/6500 546/1470 all

1853 145

5.3

-

7.2

Performance is more surprising than Steve Bradbury’s Yet it’s slower than the rear-driver to 100km/h

Q60 S Premium Mar 13 $69,900 (7a)

V6/3.7

235/7000 360/5200 rear

1692 139

6.31

14.34

12.8

Left-field coupe option drives reasonably well Trouble is, a Nissan 370Z is $14K cheaper and sharper to boot

Q60 S Premium Convertible

$77,400 (7a)

V6/3.7

236/7000 360/5200 rear

1866 125

6.4

11.4

Styling turns heads; V6 makes a nice noise Heavy, creaky and uninspiring to drive

Q70 S Premium

$78,900 (7a)

V6/3.7

235/7000 360/5200 rear

1702 138

6.2

10.2

Build quality; unique styling; value proposition Feels old (because it is); dynamically unresolved

V6/3.5E

268/6800 520/5000 rear

1785 150

5.5

6.9

Strong petrol-electric performance and economy Steering feels artificial; lacks cred at the golf club

V8/5.0

297/6500 500/4400 all

1992 149

5.8

13.1

Cracking V8 means this SUV seriously shifts Love-or-hate styling; loves a beer or seven

11133 11133 11133 11333 11233

Q70 Hybrid Premium Aug 12 $82,900 (7a) 11233

QX70 S Premium

$104,400 (7a)

11133

138

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

SV6

11133

SUVs

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Fast guide to quick cars

0-100 KM/H

Hot Source

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au


HOLDEN – LAMBORGHINI

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Australia’s Ultimate New Car Comparison Site whichcar.com.au

$70,115 (8a)

I4/2.0T

177/5500

340/1750 rear

1530 116

6.8

7.5

British BMW 3-Series rival nails the fundamentals Interior quality slightly behind ze Germans

$105,065 (8a)

V6/3.0S

250/6500 450/4500 rear

1665 150

5.1

8.1

Snarling V6 wrapped in a competent sedan package Compromised boot space

XF S Apr 16 $129,350 (8a)

V6/3.0S

280/6500 450/4500 rear

1710

164

5.3

8.3

F-Type S engine tune; sharper styling Smaller, lighter XE a more sporting steer

V6/3.0TD 221/4000 700/2000 rear

1750 126

6.2

5.5

Massive torque makes it real-world fast But diesel blunts its sporting edge

$300,275 (8a)

V8/5.0S

375/6500 625/2500 rear

1880 199

4.9

11.6

The barge from Blighty astounds with its ability Try parking it anywhere; some will find the ride firm

XJR Sep 14 $300,275 (8a)

V8/5.0S

404/6500 680/2500 rear

1870 216

4.6

11.6

Superb blown V8; handling poise; looks gorgeous Doesn’t feel as solid as German rivals; interior a bit old

$119,545(6m) $124,595 (8a)

V6/3.0S

250/6500 450/3500 rear

1577* 159

5.3

8.8

Sweet blown V6; nimble and fun; a drug for the eyeballs No LSD; not a fast car; steering almost too sharp

F-Type S Coupe Mar 16 $152,165 (6m) $157,215 (8a) 11113

V6/3.0S

280/6500 460/3500 rear

1594* 176

5.42 13.64

9.1

Looks good, goes hard: the F-Type Coupe sweet spot Like the droptop, it’s how much more than the base?

F-Type S Coupe AWD Nov 15 $173,065 (8a)

V6/3.0S

280/6500 460/3500 all

1674 167

5.1

8.9

Good chassis harnessed by superb grip Engine struggles a little with the extra weight

F-Type V8 R Coupe Apr 16 $228,905(8a)

V8/5.0S

404/6500 680/2500 rear

1665 243

3.99

15.0

Comically, stupidly fast; the looks, the noise, the skids A lot of engine for the rear-drive F-Type – if you’re a sook

F-Type V8 R Coupe AWD Feb 16 $244,765 (8a)

V8/5.0S

404/6500 680/2500 all

1730 234

3.75 11.80

11.3

Gives it the traction to go with its incredible power Can’t match the rear-driver for entertainment factor

F-Type V8 SVR Coupe Sep 16 $289,305 (8a)

V8/5.0S

423/6500 700/3500 all

1705 248

3.7

11.3

The sound; eff-off factor on the road; mega performance Where are you going to use it?

$138,425 (6m) $143,475 (8a)

V6/3.0S

250/6500 450/3500 rear

1597* 156

5.3

9.0

Traffic-stopping looks; sweet blown V6; Jag badge No LSD; no luggage space (really, none)

$176,105 (8a)

V6/3.0S

280/6500 460/3500 rear

1614 173

4.98 13.16

9.1

Sweetest of the bunch; a lovely thing to drive Is it $30K better than the base V6 (then there’s options!)?

$247,795 (8a)

V8/5.0S

404/6500 680/2500 rear

1665 242

4.2

10.7

Oh-my-god fast; Armageddon-spec exhaust note Severe traction issues; lacks the Coupe’s solid feel

F-Type V8 R AWD Sep 15 $263,645 (8a)

V8/5.0S

404/6500 680/2500 all

1730 232

4.1

11.3

So much cooler than a Carrera cabriolet $260K is a huge amount of cash

F-Type V8 SVR Sep 16 $308,185 (8a)

V8/5.0S

423/6500 700/3500 all

1720 246

3.7

11.3

First-row seats to the meanest-sounding V8 on sale Sans-roof knocks down its top-speed; bulk-buying your toupees

V6/3.0S

280/6500 450/4500 all

1861 151

5.5

8.9

Snarling V6 wrapped in a competent sedan package Compromised boot space

XE Portfolio

11123

XE S

11113 11123

XF S Diesel Apr 16 $120,700 (8a)

11133

XJ Autobiography LWB 11123 11123

F-Type Coupe 11113

11113 11113 11113 11112

F-Type

11123

F-Type S Apr 15

11113

F-Type V8 R

11113 11123 11112

F-Pace 35t S Jul 16

$103,135 (8a)

11113

$90,000 (8a)

V8/6.4

344/6250 624/4100 all

2289 150

4.9

-

14.0

11133

427/8000 540/6500 rear

1503 284

3.4

11.9

More involving and playful than the LP610-4 Feels like it needs to be let off the leash a little

Huracán LP610-4 Oct 15

$428,000 (7dc) V10/5.2

449/8250 560/6500 all

1538 291

3.2

12.5

Mind-blowingly fast; sharp handling; brilliant gearbox Rivals are all faster; could be more playful

Huracán LP610-4 Spyder Sep 16 $470,800 (7dc) V10/5.2

449/8250 560/6500 all

1658 271

3.4

12.3

Ultimate extrovert’s car; fabulous V10 noise Big weight penalty; not the purist’s choice

V12/6.5

515/8250

690/5500 all

1697 303

2.9

16.0

Otherworldy styling and performance; true rock star car Intimidating size; harsh ride quality; outdated gearbox

$795,000 (7s)

V12/6.5

515/8250

690/5500 all

1747 295

3.0

16.0

Even crazier styling than coupe with no less performance We’ve got next to no chance of driving one locally

Aventador LP750-4 SV Aug 15 $891,500 (7s)

V12/6.5

552/8400 690/5500 all

1647 335

2.8

16.0

New steering and chassis make SV much more driveable Few places to unleash such performance

Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce Aug 15 $925,300(7s) roadster 11113

V12/6.5

552/8400 690/5500 all

1697 329

2.9

16.0

Hear one of the world’s most powerful V12s first hand It’s almost a million bucks, before options

11112

11112 11112 11113 11113 11113

IS350 F Sport Dec 14 $72,650 (8a)

V6/3.5

233/6400 378/4800 rear

1685 138

6.10 14.10

RC200t Feb 16 $74,180 (8a)

I4/2.0T

180/5800 350/1650 rear

1620 111

7.0

$77,240 (8a)

V6/3.5

233/6000 378/4800 rear

1680 139

V8/5.0

351/7100

1860 189

9.7

Great value; enjoyable dynamics; responsive V6 Nannying ESP; engine tech needs an update

7.5

Turbo four-pot frugal and more flexible than V6 It's slow and uninspiring; lacks V6's chassis upgrades

6.08 14.12

9.4

Aggro looking coupe ups Lexus’ mojo; sweet dynamics Quite thirsty; not super quick; weighs a lot

5.11

10.9

Cheaper than German rivals; naturally-aspirated V8 It makes a Nissan GT-R look svelte

11123

11133 11123

RC F Mar 16 $135,490 (8a)

11123

ST

BMW M2 Pu $89,615 New-age BMW hero

2

530/4800 rear

13.25

d

ND

Porsche 718 Cayman $110,000 Sublime in every way

3

RD

Lotus Ex S $132,990 Raucous but rewarding

www.lexus.com.au

Lexus

RC350 F Sport

1

Stonking engine; finally gets the eight-speed auto Can’t defy physics; unholy thirst for unleaded

Huracán LP580-2 Ann 16 $378,900 (7dc) V10/5.2

Aventador LP700-4 Roadster Apr 13

$75K– $150K

www.lamborghini.com.au

Lamborghini

Aventador LP700-4 Mar 15 $761,500 (7s)

COUPES

www.jeep.com.au

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

TOP 3

www.jaguar.com.au

Jaguar

m o t o r o f f i c i a l f m o t o r_ m a g

139


TOP 3

$95,600 (6a)

V6/3.5

232/6400 380/4800 rear

1745 133

6.0

GS F Aug 16 $151,490 (8a)

V8/5.0

351/7100

1825 192

V8/5.0E

327/6400 520/4000 all

2340 140

GS350 F Sport

9.3

Surprisingly capable chassis takes the Euros on Hyper-responsive steering takes some getting used to

4.99 13.09

11.3

Refined muscle sedan from Japan; good value No match for its segment rivals

5.7

8.6

Incredible refinement from the ultimate orient express Weighs as much as a Tokyo skyscraper; no soul

11133

COUPES UNDER

530/4800 rear

11113

$214,030 (cvt)

LS600h F Sport

13.8

11133

$75K

www.lotuscars.com.au

Lotus

1

ST

$74,990 (6m)

I4/1.6

100/6800 160/4400 rear

876

114

6.5

6.1

Purest, cheapest Elise still stands out in a crowd One of those cars that would be amazing... if it cost $45K

$84,990 (6m)

I4/1.8S

162/6800 250/4600 rear

880 185

4.6

7.5

A terrific drive made even better by supercharging Not easy to get in or out of so try before you buy

Elise 220 Cup

$119,990 (6m)

I4/1.8S

162/6800 250/4600 rear

943

171

4.6

7.5

An Elise with serious downforce: what’s not to like? It’ll only make sense at Phillip Island

Exige 350

$132,990 (6m) $137,990 (6a)

V6/3.5S

258/7000 400/4500 rear

1125

229

3.9

10.1

Cheapest ticket to supercar power-to-weight ratios Bigger, but still cramped and no daily driver

Exige S Roadster

$132,990 (6m) $137,990 (6a)

V6/3.5S

258/7000 400/4500 rear

1166 221

4.0

-

10.1

Pop-top barely compromises the Exige’s ferocity Still a hardcore proposition for everyday use

Evora 400 Sep 16 $184,900 (6m) V6/3.5S $194,900 (6a)

258/7000 400/4500 rear

1442 179

4.4

-

9.7

Looks great; snarly engine; sublime steering Extremely pricey; struggles to match performance claims

Elise

11133

Elise S

11123

BRZ/86 From $29,990 Gen-Y drift legend

11123

2

ND

11113 11113 11123

Ford Mustang GT $57,490 Spot-on muscle car

www.maserati.com.au

Maserati RD

Ghibli

$139,900 (8a)

V6/3.0TT 243/5000 500/1750 rear

1810 134

5.6

9.6

Maserati’s 5-Series fighter looks the business Not sure how it drives, we still haven’t driven it!

Ghibli S

$169,900 (8a)

V6/3.0TT 301/5500 550/1750

rear

1810 166

5.0

10.4

High-tune twin-turbo V6 gives the Ghibli real punch At this price, what do you compare it against?

Quattroporte Diesel

$210,000 (8a)

V6/3.0TD 202/4000 600/2000 rear

1945 104

6.4

6.2

Turbo-diesel six punches hard and sips little Limo platform is penalised with more weight

Quattroporte

$215,000 (8a)

V6/3.0TT 243/4750 500/4500 rear

1900 128

5.6

9.1

A quick, classy and cheaper alternative to a Porsche Panamera Deserves more power

Quattroporte S

$240,000 (8a)

V6/3.0TT 301/5500 550/1750

1900 158

5.1

9.6

New twin-turbo V6 matches old V8 for grunt Feels its size; V8 is a more appealling proposition

Quattroporte GTS

$331,000 (8a)

V8/3.8TT 390/6800 650(710)/ rear 2000

1951

12.8

10.7

New turbo V8 has mega mumbo; classy interior... ... except for the Chrysler bits; ride issues; huge money

GranTurismo MC Sportline

$295,000 (6a) $319,000 (6s)

V8/4.7

338/7000 520/4750 rear

1880 187

4.7

15.5

11133

Drop-dead gorgeous coupe finally gets more grunt. Still more of a grand tourer than proper sportscar

GranCabrio Sport

$338,000 (6a)

V8/4.7

338/7000 520/4750 rear

1980 171

5.0

14.5

Quicker shifting ’box and extra 10Nm ups the aggression Still more of a grand tourer than a proper sportscar

GranCabrio Sport MC

$355,000 (6s)

V8/4.7

338/7000 520/4750 rear

1973 171

4.9

14.9

‘MC’ shifts the trans rearward and cuts shift times again Will any Cabrio drivers feel the difference?

GranTurismo MC Stradale

$345,000 (6s)

V8/4.7

338/7000 520/4750 rear

1800 199

4.5

14.4

Stiffer, faster Stradale is Maserati’s 300km/h Trident There are some serious rivals at this price point

11133 11123

VW S i cco Scir $45,990 Sexy GTI alternative

11123 11123

INJECTED!

rear

11123 11133

Abarth’s ‘turbo MX-5’ is here FOR THE first time since 2001 you can buy a factory turbocharged MX-5. Except, it ain’t from Mazda. Instead it’s Abarth, Fiat’s go-fast spin off, that’s landed the 124 Spider, which uses the same chassis but smuggles in its own 1.4-litre turbo four. The six-speed manual asks $41,990, while the sixspeed auto is another two grand. The first 100 will be known as Launch Editions and score contrasting exterior bits.

200 4.7

11123 11133 11123

www.mazda.com.au

Mazda 1308 105

8.20 15.87

I4/2.2TD 129/4500 420/2000 front

1398 92

7.7

$31,990 (6m) $33,990 (6a)

I4/1.5

96/7000

150/4800 rear

1009 95

MX-5 GT Feb 16 $37,990 (6m) $39,990 (6a)

I4/1.5

96/7000

150/4800 rear

MX-5 2.0L Aug 16 $34,490 (6m) $36,490 (6a)

I4/2.0

118/6000

MX-5 2.0L GT Feb 16 $39,550 (6m) $41,550 (6a) 11113

I4/2.0

118/6000

3 SP25 Nov 14 $25,190 (6m) $27,190 (6a)

I4/2.5

138/5700

8.1

Tremendous value; entertaining handling Controls – brakes, steering, gearshift – all a bit soft

5.0

Loaded with every feature under the sun; grunty engine No MPS replacement; it’s VW Golf GTI money but not a GTI

7.90 15.76

6.1

Superb dynamics; lightness; keen engine She’s no rocketship; looks odd from some angles

1009 95

7.50 15.4

6.1

More technology and gear for Mazda’s thrilling mite Road noise; gets a bit floaty at higher speeds

200/4600 rear

1033 114

6.54 14.68

6.9

More grunt never hurts; sharper handling; small price penalty Ride suffers with the new suspension

200/4600 rear

1033 114

6.9

Plenty of kit makes the GT a more liveable proposition Starting to get pricy, though still much cheaper than previous

250/3250 front

11123

3 XD Dec 14 $39,290 (6m) $41,290 (6a)

11133

MX-5 Jul 16

11113 11113 11113

www.cars.mclaren.com

McLaren 540C Aug 16 $325,000 (7dc) V8/3.8TT 397/7500 540/3500 rear

1311 303 (dry)

3.5

11.1

Supercar price leader; still hits 200km/h in 10.5sec 570S likely to be worth the extra

570S Aug 16 $379,000 (7dc) V8/3.8TT 419/7500

600/5000 rear

1344 312

3.2

10.8

Insane performance; added practicality; involving dynamics Doesn’t ride as well as the 650S; hefty options pricing

650S Jun 14

$464,000 (7dc) V8/3.8TT 478/7250

678/6000 rear

1428 335

3.0

10.5

11.7

Incredible performance – 0-200km/h in 8.4sec! We’ll let you know when we drive it...

650S Spider Jun 14

$511,000 (7dc)

V8/3.8TT 478/7250

678/6000 rear

1468 326

3.0

10.5

11.7

Carbon cell means no less rigidity or performance Will it be able to knock off Maranello’s finest?

675 LT Oct 15

$616,250 (7dc)

V8/3.8TT 497/7250

700/6000 rear

1328 360 2.9

Britain’s answer to the Ferrari 458 Speciale That car has just been superseded by an even faster model

11112 11112 11112 11112 11112

140

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Fast guide to quick cars

KW/TONNE

Hot Source

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au


LEXUS – MERCEDES-BENZ

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Australia’s Ultimate New Car Comparison Site whichcar.com.au

I4/2.0T

160/5500 350/1200 all

1370 113

6.6

Great chassis; excellent steering; classy looks Can’t turn ESP off; gearbox could be more responsive

A45 AMG Dec 16 $78,315 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

280/6000 475/2250 all

1480 180

4.15

12.41

12.8

Much improved ride comfort; even more mental performance It’s a bit serious; transmission not the best

$83,615 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

280/6000 475/2250 all

1510

175

4.4

7.5

Roomier and more comfortable than the lumpy A45 Not particularly attractive; gearbox isn’t the best

CLA 250 Sport Sep 14 $67,600 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

155/5500

350/1200 all

1465 106

6.6

6.6

All-wheel drive justifies $15K premium over A250 hatch Rivals at this price point are much faster

$68,600 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

155/5500

350/1200 all

1490 104

6.8

6.9

Looks, practicality and spritely performance rolled into one Not as agile as its hatch twin

CLA45 AMG

$92,215 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

280/6000 475/2250 all

1510

176

4.2

7.4

Adding a boot just adds to the appeal; rides a little softer Responses dulled a little; styling odd from some angles

CLA45 AMG S/brake

$92,215 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

280/6000 475/2250 all

1540 172

4.3

7.4

Hardcore performance wrapped in compact utility It’s the heaviest MFA-based AMG yet

C300 Coupe

$83,400(7a)

I4/2.0T

180/5500 370/1300 rear

1490 121

6.0

6.6

Fast, frugal engine; decent dynamics Not particularly exciting; rear styling an acquired taste

AMG C43

$101,900 (9a)

V6/3.0TT 270/6000 520/2000 all

1615

167

4.7

8.0

Quick, comfortable, entertaining More subdued than most modern AMGs

AMG C43 Estate

$104,400 (9a)

V6/3.0TT 270/6000 520/2000 all

1660 163

4.8

8.1

Engaging chassis wrapped in a wagon package Looks quite subtle, but then that could be a plus

V8/4.0TT 375/6250 700/1750

rear

1655 227

4.16 12.23

8.6

Amazing engine; brilliant chassis; new-found comfort Looks quite subtle; occasional transmission stumble

$158,115 (7a)

V8/4.0TT 375/6250 700/1750

rear

1725 217

4.0

8.7

The family man’s performance solution Practicality comes at a cost – she’s getting heavy

AMG C43

$105,615 (9a)

V6/3.0TT 270/6000 520/2000 all

1660 163

4.7

8.0

Quick, comfortable, entertaining More subdued than most modern AMGs

AMG C43 Cabriolet

$119,900 (9a)

V6/3.0TT 270/6000 520/2000 all

1795 150

4.8

8.4

Solid mix of class, sophistication, and performance Twin-turbo six feels a little underdone for this package

AMG C63 S Coupe Ann 16 $162,400 (7a)

V8/4.0TT 375/6250 700/1750

rear

1725 217

3.9

8.7

Germany’s premier muscle car; awesome engine and handling Weight increase over sedan; more expensive than rivals

$179,900 (7a)

V8/4.0TT 375/6250 700/1750

rear

1850 202

4.1

9.3

Front row seats to hear AMG’s thumping new eight Not the keenest handler of the C63 bunch

A250 Sport

$54,800 (7dc)

11123 11113

GLA45 AMG 11113 11123

CLA 250 Sport S/brake

11123 11113 11113 11123 11123 11123

AMG C63 S Aug 16 $155,615 (7a)

11112

AMG C63 S Estate Jan 16 11112 11123 11123 11112

AMG C63 S Cabriolet 11112

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 800/1750 rear

1795 240 4.91

12.72

10.3

Breathtakingly fast; rides and handles beautifully Doesn’t have the response or the charm of the old atmo 6.2

$171,400 (9a)

V8/4.7TT 300/5750 600/1600 rear

1815

165

4.9

8.9

Awesome engine; greater comfort than AMG version Not everyone loves the looks; E-Class more practical

CLS500 S/brake Aug 15 $181,400 (9a)

V8/4.7TT 300/5750 600/1600 rear

1880 160

4.9

8.9

Lovely blend of style, engine performance and comfort Cabin feels dated by much smarter fit-out in C-Class

$251,400 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 800/1750 rear

1795 239

4.1

10.0

S designation adds 20kW; not that it needed it It’s better looking, but rivals still look better

S500 Feb 14 $294,715 (7a)

V8/4.7TT 335/5250 700/1800 rear

1920 174

4.8

9.2

The world’s best limousine; incredible tech and interior You’ll probably enjoy it more from the back seat

S500 L

$319,715 (7a)

V8/4.7TT 335/5250 700/1800 rear

1940 173

4.8

9.2

Even more rear seat room for ultimate passenger comfort Chauffeur doesn’t come as standard

S500 Coupe

$318,610 (7a)

V8/4.7TT 335/5500 700/1800 rear

1955 171

4.6

8.6

Limousine excellence in a svelte coupe bodyshell Full fat S63 AMG is a more potent package

AMG S63

$392,715 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 900/2250 rear

1970 218

4.4

10.2

The best tool for crushing autobahns There are no autobahns in Australia

S63 AMG L

$404,715 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 900/2250 rear

2095 205

4.5

10.3

The best tool for crushing autobahns from the back seat Not very relaxing doing 250km/h in the back seat

S600 L Feb 15 $419,715 (7a)

V12/6.0TT 390/5300 830/1900 rear

2110

4.6

11.3

Big daddy S-class is matched with silken V12 There’s not much wrong with the S500 V8

AMG E63 S Feb 14 $250,540 (7a)

11113

CLS500

11113 11113

AMG CLS63 S 11113 11112 11112 11112 11113 11113

185

11112

FastBlast

TOP 3

www.mercedes-benz.com.au

Mercedes-Benz

COUPES OVER

$150K ST

$384,600 Virtually flawless

2

ND

M-B AMG C63 S $162,400 Tyre-baking fun

3

RD

Nissan GT-R $189,000 Brutally ignores physics

HYUNDAI VELOSTER STREET TURBO IF SHOES maketh the man, do wheels maketh the car? It could be the case for Hyundai’s Veloster Turbo Street Special Edition. Just 200 units will be built and each will offer $3K more kit for $1K over the Veloster SR Plus it’s based on. That includes the very agreeable 18-inch RAYS Gram Light wheels in black, keyed into other black bits on the dazzling blue paintjob. Sadly the wheels don’t revolutionise handling as it’s standard Veloster Turbo fare underneath. That is to say, grippy, predictable, and, erm, safe – a playful, sensational hot hatch this car is not. It’s more an offering for those who like to fiddle, it’s just Hyundai’s done it for you. – LC

SPECS 1.6L INLINE-4, TURBO, 150KW/265NM, 1290KG PRICE $34,990

d

m o t o r o f f i c i a l f m o t o r_ m a g

141


S600 Maybach Jul 16

TOP 3

$448,610 (7a)

V12/6.0TT 390/5500 830/1900 rear

2408 162

5.0

11.7

Exclusivity and luxury at a much lower price than previous Maybach difference isn’t what it once was

S65 AMG L

$492,715 (7a)

V12/6.0TT 463/5400 1000/2300 rear

2175 213

4.3

11.9

V12 Bi-Turbo badge means you’re king of the hill You could buy a Maybach for the money

S63 AMG Coupe Jul 15

$408,610 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 900/2250 rear

1995 216

4.2

10.2

Brutal acceleration; amazing comfort; superb interior Needs a better gearbox; munches tyres

($3105) S65 AMG Coupe 11113

$501,715 (7a)

V12/6.0TT 463/5400 1000/2300 rear

2110

219

4.1

12.0

S Coupe gets a massive performance injection The 63 is the smarter choice

E400 Coupe

$130,570 (7a)

V6/3.0TT 245/6000 480/1400 rear

1650 148

5.2

7.5

Replaces E500; just as fast, much cheaper Much more a tourer than sportster, but ride isn’t great

E400 Cabriolet

$144,510 (7a)

V6/3.0TT 245/6000 480/1400 rear

1770 138

5.3

7.7

Perfect for a summer’s day cruise Keen drivers will definitely look elsewhere, like a Porsche Boxster S

SLC 43 Dec 16 $134,615 (9a)

V6/3.0TT 270/6000 520/2000 rear

1520 178

4.7

7.8

Brilliant drivetrain; strong brakes Unforgiving ride; wooden steering

SL500

$278,715 (9a)

V8/4.7TT 335/5250 700/1800 rear

1720 187

4.3

9.1

Uprated drivetrain adds a little weight but plenty of spede Ride quality isn’t exactly plush; there are better front ends

SL63 AMG

$368,715 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 900/2250 rear

1770 243

4.1

10.1

Perfect combination of performance and luxury Some creaks from the bodyshell; interior needs a refresh

$190,615 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5750 760/1750

all

2270 189

4.2

18.6

Insane performance; hilarious noise; huge character Bit of a wobbly handler; interior a little off the pace

$200,615 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 760/1750

all

2275 189

4.2

11.9

Thunderous alternative to the X6M Flawed concept, if you ask us; polarising looks

$217,615 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 430/5500 760/1750

all

2370 181

4.6

12.3

Need to move seven people at high speed? Here you go Needs to tow a fuel tanker around

$233,615 (7a)

V8/5.5TT 400/5500 760/2000 all

2475 161

5.4

13.8

There is no reason why this thing should exist But we’re very glad it does

1570 239

4.00 11.8

9.4

Excellent chassis mated to a brilliant engine Makes the comparable Jaguar F-Type R seem cheap

11113

SUPER CARS

ST

11113 11112

11133

Ferrari 488 GTB $469,988 Simply sensational

2

11133 11133

ND

11133 11113

GLE 63 AMG S Jan 16

Fer i F12 $690,745 A GT masterpiece

11123

GLE 63 AMG S Coupe

3

RD

11123

GLS 63 AMG 11133

G63 AMG Jul 14

11333

Lambo LP580-2 $378,900 Rear-drive bliss

($5075) AMG GT S 11112

Feb 16 $299,900 (7dc) V8/4.0TT 375/6250 650/1750 rear

www.mini.com.au

MINI

GONESKI!

Cooper S Dec 14 $37,750 (6m) $40,100 (6a)

I4/2.0T

141/6000

280(300) front /1250

1160 121

6.70 14.70

5.5

Solves all the old model’s problems but creates a new one... ...it’s not as engaging; needs better tyres

Cooper S 5-door

$38,850 (6m) $41,200 (6a)

I4/2.0T

141/6000

280(300) front /1250

1220 116

6.9

6.0

11123

A slightly smaller alternative to a VW Golf GTI Extra 60kg means it’s not mini in any sense

Cooper S Convertible

$45,400 (6a)

I4/2.0T

141/6000

280(300) front /1250

1275 111

7.1

5.8

More practical and a better drive than the old Cabrio But that’s not saying an awful lot

I4/2.0T

141/6000

280(300) front /1250

1360 104

7.1

6.0

Smart interior and supple chassis. Bring on the JCW! New heft burdens the poor 2.0-litre; weird looks

Cooper JCW Aug 16 $47,400 (6m) $49,950 (6a) 11123

I4/2.0T

170/6000 320/1250 front

1205 141

6.56 14.46

6.0

More power than ever before; playful handling Iffy steering; hard ride; enormous price hike for manual version

Countryman JCW

$56,900 (6m)

I4/1.6T

160/6000 280/1900 all

1405 114

7.0

8.0

Kinda makes sense; a Mini with room for four Not really a Mini, is it? Only just fast enough as a JCW

Paceman JCW

$56,900 (6m)

I4/1.6T

160/6000 280/1900 all

1400 114

6.9

8.0

Surprisingly fun to drive; looks good as a JCW That price! And they say the Germans can’t do comedy

11123

Aston Martin DB9 hangs up its hat AFTER 13 years as the centrepiece of Aston Martin’s range the DB9 has finally driven off into the sunset. However, it’s been no lingering bad smell, as its design was timeless, remaining one of the world’s most beautiful cars. At $386K for the recent GT edition, it was an expensive ticket, even with a silken V12, however,the new turbo DB11 promises a bright future for the bloodline.

11123

Cooper S Clubman Feb 16 $42,900 (6m/8a) 11123

11233 11133

www.morgancars.com.au

Morgan $89,990 (5m)

4/4

I4/1.6

82/6000

132/5800 rear

795

103

8.0

6.4

Ye olde charm; definitely a unique driving experience You’re essentially buying a brand new antique

V2/2.0

60/5250

140/3250 rear

550

220

6.0

9.3

An utterly unique driving experience You’re either going to love it or hate it

11133

3 Wheeler Apr 16 $92,300 (5m)

11123

Plus 4

$103,500 (5m)

I4/2.0

115/6000

201/4500 rear

877

117

7.3

7.0

Ye olde charm; definitely a unique driving experience Again, you’re essentially buying a brand new antique

Roadster

$139,775 (6m)

V6/3.7

209/6000 370/4700 rear

950

220

5.5

9.8

Power-to-weight rivals a 911 Carrera S You’d really have to love it to live with it

Plus 8

$230,500 (8a)

V8/4.8

270/6300 490/3400 rear

1100 246

4.2

10.8

Fabulous drivetrain package; fun on smooth surfaces Quality fails to match the pricetag

Aero 8

$270,000 (6a)

V8/4.8

270/6300 490/3400 rear

1175

4.5

12.1

Morgan’s ultimate roadster looks good, sounds better with no roof Slightly cramped cabin hard to get comfortable in

11133 11133 11123

230

11123

www.nissan.com.au

Nissan $25,990 (6m) $28,490 (cvt)

I4/1.6T

140/5600 240/2000 front

1340* 104* 7.80 15.56

8.9

A famous hot hatch nameplate returns Shame it’s not attached to something that’s worthy

370Z Sep 10 $56,930 (6m) $59,930 (7a)

V6/3.7

245/7000 363/5200 rear

1468 162

5.85 14.04

10.4

Now old but latest in a long line of Z-cars Agricultural engine; snappy handling; gets hot on track

$65,930 (6m) $68,930 (7a)

V6/3.7

245/7000 363/5200 rear

1478 229

5.8

10.9*

Suffers little in the conversion to drop-top But it doesn’t add anything to the recipe, either

GT-R Dec 16 $189,000 (6dc) V6/3.8TT 419/6800 632/3300 all

1765 237

2.7

11.7

Improved ride; worthwhile interior upgrade Big price increase; beginning to feel its age

$227,000 (6dc) V6/3.8TT 419/6800 632/3300 all

1760 238

2.7

11.7

In a track environment, simply awesome Question marks over road suitability; price premium

Pulsar SSS Jul 14

11233 11133

370Z Roadster

11133 11113

GT-R Track Edition 11113

142

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Fast guide to quick cars

KW/TONNE

Hot Source

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au


I4/1.6T

153/6000 300/3000 front

1160 127

6.8

15.0

I4/1.6T

151/5000

front

1200 126

7.70 15.50

400/2000 front

1320 101

8.4

5.4

Recently updated with more power Superb rivals highlight its flaws; odd driving position

5.6

Handsome looks; drives well; loaded with kit Not fast enough for the money; ride issues

4.0

Decent engine; 'round-town performance Nowhere near a hot hatch with the added heft

11123

308 GT Oct 15

$41,990 (6m)

285/1750

11123

308 GTD Mar 16 $42,990 (6a)

I4/2.0TD 133/3750

11133

308 GTi 250 Aug 16 $44,990 (6m)

I4/1.6T

184/6000 330/1900 front

1205 153

6.42 14.41

6.0

Potent 1.6 turbo engine; engaging chassis Steering lacks connection; 270 adds plenty of extra kit

308 GTi 270 Jul 16

I4/1.6T

200/6000 330/1900 front

1205 166

6.09 14.16

6.0

Unique seats, sport tyres and diff are worth the extra Tough rivals; could be more playful

11123

$49,990 (6m)

11123

www.porsche.com.au

Porsche 718 Cayman Ann 16 $110,000 (6m) $111,572 (7dc) 11113

F4/2.0T

220/6500 380/1950 rear

1335 165

5.1

7.4

Porsche’s entry level sportscar sets the bar high; cheap PDK upgrade Hardly a cheap deal in anyone’s language

$140,300 (6m) $145,290 (7dc)

F4/2.5T

257/6500 420/1900 rear

1355 190

4.6

8.1

Finely tuned chassis soaks up turbo new grunt You’re now going to have to spend a lot for an atmo Porsche

$112,800 (6m) $114,372 (7dc)

F4/2.0T

220/6500 380/1950 rear

1335 165

4.7* –

6.9*

New turbo engine gives Boxster the grunt it deserves Boosted four lacks the character of the old atmo six

$143,100 (6m) F4/2.5T $148,090 (7dc)

257/6500 420/1900 rear

1355 190

4.2* –

7.3*

Approaching supercar speed; beautiful chassis balance Much more expensive than it was, particularly with options

911 Carrera Apr 16 $217,500 (7m) F6/3.0TT 272/6500 450/1700 rear $223,450 (7dc) 11112

1430 190

4.2

8.3

Now matches old Carrera S pace for less money; PASM standard Slight loss of exhaust note aggression; that’s about it

911 Carrera S Apr 16 $252,500 (7m) F6/3.0TT 309/6500 500/5000 rear $258,450 (7dc) 11112

1440 215

3.9* 12.0*

8.7

Supercar-scaring fast with PDK and Sport Chrono package Getting too fast for the road; expensive with options

718 Cayman S 11112

718 Boxster Jun 16 11112

718 Boxster S Jun 16 11112

$233,600 (7m) F6/3.0TT 272/6500 450/1700 all $239,550 (7dc)

1480 184

4.1

8.7

All-wheel drive means you can drive your 911 to the snow Carreras are meant to be two-wheel driven

911 Carrera 4S

$269,700 (7m) F6/3.0TT 309/6500 500/5000 all $274,650 (7dc)

1490 207

3.8*

8.9

Big grip fills in the holes of your skill set Only real reason you need it over the regular car

$239,000 (7m) F6/3.0TT 272/6500 450/1700 rear $244,950 (7dc)

1500 181

4.8

8.5

Almost as good to drive as the coupe Suffers from image problems

F6/3.0TT 309/6500 500/5000 rear

1510

4.5

8.8

Better access to exhaust pops and crackles Jaguar provides a more theatrical experience

F6/3.0TT 272/6500 450/1700 all

1550 175

4.3

8.9

Turbo torque makes extra kg almost irrelevant Hard to see what it adds over regular Carrera Cabriolet

$290,200 (7m) F6/3.0TT 309/6500 500/5000 all $296,150 (7dc)

1560 198

4.0

9.0

A great car in so many ways You could have a GT3 at this price!

$255,100 (7m) $261,050 (7dc)

F6/3.0TT 272/6500 450/1700 all

1570 173

4.3

8.9

Old-school charm, new-school stonk Self-folding targa top isn’t very retro

$290,200 (7m) F6/3.0TT 309/6500 500/5000 all $296,150(7dc)

1580 196

4.0

9.0

Extra power adds to its touring appeal Regular Cab S wants $20K less

1370 269

3.8

13.3

The lightest, purest 911; the ultimate driver’s car Not super refined; very limited build run

all

1595 249

3.0

11.0

9.1

Now updated with even more speed, just what it needed With Australia’s speed limits it’s almost a waste

750/2250 all

1600 259

2.9

10.8

9.1

You’ll need a Chiron to beat it off the line; useability We’re talking diminishing returns here; supercar money

all

1665 238

3.1

11.2

9.3

The ultimate hair dryer; still insanely fast There are far more characterful cabriolets at this price

750/2250 all

1670 256

3.0

11.0

9.3

A good way to show off the size of your bank balance Struggling to see the point; frightening price tag

all

1795 185

4.4

8.2

Stuttgart’s fresh limo doesn’t stick around All-wheel drive of questionable relevance in Australia

V8/3.0TTD 310/5000 850/1000 all

1795 173

4.5

6.8

Slick new PDK handles big-grunt diesel beautifully A car you buy more for economy than outright performance

Panamera Turbo

$376,900 (8dc) V8/4.8TT 382/6000 700/2250 all

1920 194

3.8

10.2

Crushing on-paper performance; cosseting luxury for four Lighter but still a big bertha; we’ll let you know when we drive it

Macan GTS

$109,200 (7dc) V6/3.0TT 265/6000 500/1650 all

1895 140

5.0*

8.8

Looks quite cool as SUVs go; quite a bit cheaper than the Turbo Not overly fast; can it match the new F-Pace?

Macan Turbo Aug 14 $130,000 (7dc) V6/3.6TT 294/6000 550/1350 all

1925 153

4.8

9.2

Drives better than it has any right to Lacking engine note; bit of low-down lag

2215 128

5.7

8.3

Incredible diesel grunt; reasonably priced against rivals We still have problems with the term ‘sports diesel SUV’

11112

911 Carrera Cabriolet

11113

911 Carrera S Cabriolet Aug 16 $274,000 (7m) $279,950(7dc) 11113 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

11123

911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet 11113

911 Targa 4

11123

911 Targa 4S

11113

M

12.3

911 Carrera 4 11113

$255,100 (7m) $261,050 (7dc)

911 R Aug 16 $404,700 (6m) F6/4.0

368/8250 460/6250 rear

205

11111

911 Turbo

$384,600 (7dc) F6/3.8TT 397/6400 710/2250

11112 M

911 Turbo S Apr 16 $456,200 (7dc) F6/3.8TT 427/6750 11111

911 Turbo Cabriolet

$406,100 (7dc) F6/3.8TT 397/6400 710/2250

11113

911 Turbo S Cabriolet

$477,700 (7dc)

F6/3.8TT 427/6750

11113

Panamera 4S

$304,200 (8dc) V6/3.0TT 324/6600 550/1750

11113

Panamera 4S Diesel

$312,100 (8dc)

11113 11113 11123 11123

Cayenne S Diesel Feb 15 $149,000 (8a)

V8/4.2TD 283/3750

850/2000 all

11123

Cayenne GTS May 15 $156,100 (8a)

V6/3.6TT 324/6000 600/1600 all

2110

154

5.2

10.0

Pace and incredible dynamics for an off-roader New blown V6 can’t match the acoustics of the old V8

Cayenne Turbo Feb 15 $235,300 (8a)

V8/4.8TT 382/6000 750/2250 all

2185 175

4.5

11.5

Like driving a rocket-powered block of flats Cayenne’s underpinnings are ageing

Cayenne Turbo S Ann 16 $287,200 (8a)

V8/4.8TT 419/6000 800/2500 all

2235 187

4.1

11.5

Outrageous performance; top-dog status It’s DOUBLE the price of the already impressive Cayenne S Diesel

11113 11123 11113

TOP 3

www.peugeot.com.au

Peugeot 208 GTi Oct 16 $30,990 (6m)

MERCEDES-BENZ – PORSCHE

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Australia’s Ultimate New Car Comparison Site whichcar.com.au

d

WAGONs

$158,115 Love it, love it, love it

2

ND

Audi RS6 Perf. $245,116 p Supercar-like stonk

HSV port R8 LSA Tourer $85,990 Coolest Aussie car?

m o t o r o f f i c i a l f m o t o r_ m a g

143


TOP 3

www.landrover.com.au

Range Rover

DROP TOPS UNDER

$150K

Evoque Dynamic Si4 May 14 $81,125 (9a)

I4/2.0T

177/5500

340/1750 all

1640 107

-

-

13.6

Concept-car looks; classy interior; drives well Try seeing out of it; terrifying options lists

13.8

Great handling; wonderful engine; looks much better Some will see it as the poor man’s Range Rover

11133

Sport HSE Dynamic Jan 14

$167,905 (8a)

V8/5.0S

375/6500 625/2500 all

2310 162

5.3

Sport Autobio. Dynamic Jan 14

$196,800 (8a)

V8/5.0S

375/6500 625/2500 all

2310 162

5.3

13.8

Drives like an enormous hot hatch; goes like a scalded cat Very little; thirsty, and off-road ability wasted on most

Sport SVR Oct 16 $233,500 (8a)

V8/5.0S

405/6500 680/2500 all

2310 175

4.7

13.8

Ludicrous acceleration; anti-social exhaust noise Is this performance 4x4 thing getting a bit silly?

all

2360 108

6.9

8.7

Diesel V8 perfect fit for the Rangie’s calming character Huge weight saving, but still incredibly big and heavy

375/6500 720/3500 all

2330 161

5.4

13.8

Like an off-road S-Class; incredible ride and feel-good factor Fuel tank seems to have a hole in it; poor people hate you

11113 11112

11123

ST

SDV8 Autobiography

$244,400 (8a)

V8/4.4TTD 250/3500 700/1750

$257,300 (8a)

V8/5.0S

11113

5.0 SC Autobiography Jan 14 11113

Por e Boxster $113,100 Better than eve

www.renault.com.au

Renault

2 Mazda MX-5 $31,990 Massive fun for a tiny price

($10) Clio RS 200 Sport 11113

Oct 16 $30,000 (6dc)

I4/1.6T

147/6000 240/1750 front

1218

121

7.1

($990) Clio RS 200 Cup 11113

Apr 14 $33,000 (6dc)

I4/1.6T

147/6000 240/1750 front

1218

121

($990) Clio RS 200 Sport

$35,000 (6dc)

I4/1.6T

147/6000 240/1750 front

1218

$38,000 (6dc)

I4/1.6T

147/6000 240/1750 front

Clio RS 220 Trophy Aug 16 $39,990 (6dc)

I4/1.6T

Megane GT Ann 16 $38,490 (7dc)

I4/2.0T

Premium

15.1

6.3

Cult classic returns at a bargain price; five-door practicality Lost its hero appeal; sadly no manual option

6.75 14.91

6.3

Likes to wag its tail; zesty drivetrain Sounds like a vacuum on boost; shift paddles feel arcade-ish

121

6.7

-

6.3

Extra kit (seats, 18s, RS drive) adds extra class Price gains a couple of waist sizes

1218

121

7.14

15.21

9.6

You won’t be disappointed by the range-topper… …until you realise $37K is not far off an SS, GTI, Megane

163/6000 280/1750 front

1218

134

6.49 14.54

5.9

More power, quicker shifts, better chassis – it’s hardcore While harder and faster, it’s still not visceral as you’d like

151/6000

1392 108

6.0

Sharpened French hatch promises to be an RS-lite Unkillable ESP means it fails to deliver on the promise

11113

($990) Clio RS 200 Cup

Premium

Jan 15

11123 11113

s e $132,990 Plenty of character, bags of entertainment

GONESKI!

280/2400 front

7.1

11123

www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II Feb 15 $595,000 DA (8a) 11112

V12/6.6TT 420/5250 780/1500 rear

2360 178

4.9

14.0

Quicker and sportier than a Phantom, but no less opulent What’s the point of a sportier, faster Rolls Royce?

$675,000 DA (8a)

V12/6.6TT 420/5250 780/1500 rear

2450 171

5.0

14.1

Even more luxurious with added rear seat space For those who prefer someone else to do the driving

Wraith Dec 14 $645,000 DA (8a)

V12/6.6TT 465/5600 800/1500 rear

2360 197

4.6

14.0

Incredible comfort and luxury; traffic-stopping styling Definitely no drivers’ car; you’ll want the Phantom

$749,000 DA (8a)

V12/6.6TT 420/5250 780/1500 rear

2560 164

4.9

14.2

Jaw-dropping looks; you’ve-made-it driving experience Best suited to wafting; prepare for envy

Phantom Series II

$855,000 DA (8a)

V12/6.7

338/5350 720/3500 rear

2560 132

5.9

14.8

The benchmark luxury car for the last decade It’s simply enormous; Kyle Sandilands has one…

Phantom Coupe

$995,000 DA (8a)

V12/6.8

338/5350 720/3500 rear

2580 131

5.8

14.8

For the billionaires who want to drive themselves Billionaires will be the only ones to experience it

$1,075,000 DA (8a)

V12/6.8

338/5350 720/3500 rear

2630 129

5.8

14.8

Simply the flashiest, most extravagant car on the road The price tag, but if you have to ask...

Ghost EWB Series II 11112 11112

Dawn Jun 16

Current Megane RS clocks off IT’S AU reviour to Renault’s RS Megane. After six years it’s been pulled from showrooms to make way for the new Megane. Over time outputs grew from 184kW to 206kW in the mental RS 275, however its handling’s always been held in high regard, some going as far to call it the greatest frontdrive ever. That also may never change, with the new RS speculated to come in four doors, autoonly and all-wheel drive.

11112 11112 11112

Phantom Drophead

11112

www.skoda.com.au

Skoda Octavia 162TSI RS Nov 14 $37,590 (6m) $40,190 (6dc) 11123

I4/2.0T

162/6200 350/1500 front

1350 118

6.30 14.60

7.7

Affordable mix of performance, handling and practicality Optional six-speed DSG doesn’t cut it, get the manual

Octavia RS Wagon May 14 $39,590 (6m) $41,890 (6dc) 11123

I4/2.0T

162/6200 350/1500 front

1372 118

6.9

7.7

As per sedan, but cranks the practicality factor up to 11 Everybody will think you’re a soccer mum

I4/2.0T

206/6500 350/1700 all

1537 134

5.8

7.3

Golf R speed in a more practical package Not as agile as its hatch cousin

Superb 206TSI 4x4 Jun 16

$50,990 (6dc)

11123

www.subaru.com.au

Subaru WRX Nov 14 $38,990 (6m) $40,990 (cvt)

F4/2.0T

197/5600

350/2400 all

1424 138

6.08 14.15

9.2

Has rediscovered its harder edge; entertaining handling Lumpy power curve; firm ride; offers little that’s new

WRX Premium May 14 $44,890 (6m) $46,890 (cvt) 11123

F4/2.0T

197/5600

350/2400 all

1424 138

6.24 14.27

9.2

Extra kit makes the WRX a more habitable place Not really what the WRX has traditionally been about

WRX STi May 15 $49,490 (6m)

F4/2.5T

221/6000 407/4000 all

1515

146

5.40 13.49

12.1

Looks tough; handling prowess; bargain price Interior can’t match class benchmarks; iffy steering

WRX STi Premium Apr 16 $55,390 (6m)

F4/2.5T

221/6000 407/4000 all

1515

146

5.49 13.62

10.4

Adds welcome niceties; you can delete the wing Not actually any faster than the last STi

F6/3.6

191/5600

350/4400 all

1605 119

7.2

10.3

Far cheaper than the old one; segment-crushing power Feels quite big; has lost a lot of its sporting character

F4/2.0T

197/5600

350/2400 all

1538 128

6.6

8.7

Fast wagons are cool; good package Not really that fast; suspension on the stiff side

11123

11123 11123

Liberty 3.6R

$42,490 (cvt)

11133

Levorg GT Aug 16 $42,990 (cvt)

11123

144

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Fast guide to quick cars

0-100 KM/H

Hot Source

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au


Forester XT

$40,990 (cvt)

F4/2.0T

177/5600

350/2400 all

1589 111

7.5

$32,990 (6m) $34,990 (6a)

F4/2.0

152/7000

212/6600 rear

1282 119

7.4

8.5

Much improved handling and refinement Stripped of all its character; no manual option

8.4

Looks better than the Toyota; exclusivity; handling balance Oversteer junkies will prefer the more wayward 86

11133

BRZ

11112

I4/1.6

100/6900 160/4400 front

1060 94

8.50 16.16

6.1*

Dual EM

568

2300 247

3.36 11.68

0.0

11133

Excellent chassis; strong brakes; revvy engine Not as cheap as it used to be; un-killable ESP dulls fun

www.teslamotors.com

Tesla ($5061) Model S P90D Ann 16 $208,344 DA (1a) 11113

967

all

I4/1.8

103/6400 173/4000 front

1255 82

9.24 16.87

7.1

Shock! A Corolla that’s half-decent to drive (in manual guise) Outclassed and out-gunned by cheaper rivals

86 GT Aug 12 $29,990 (6m) $32,490 (6a)

F4/2.0

147/7000

205/6400 rear

1257 117

7.6

7.8

About as much fun as you can have in a car, regardless of price Interior is basic; road noise; ride can get irritating

86 GTS Oct 16 $35,990 (6m) $38,490 (6a)

F4/2.0

147/7000

205/6400 rear

1275 116

7.15

15.15

7.8

Extra kit makes the 86 a more livable proposition Lumpy power curve; needs more mid-range

$23,490 (6m) $25,490 (cvt)

Corolla SX

11113 11112

www.volkswagen.com.au

Volkswagen Polo GTI Oct 16 $27,490 (6m) $29,990 (7dc) 11113

I4/1.8T

141/6200

320/1450 front

1234 144

6.8

Golf GTI Aug 16 $40,990 (6m) $43,490 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

162/6200 350/1500 front

1324 122

Golf GTI Performance Nov 14 $46,490 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

169/6200 350/1500 front

Golf GTI 40 Years Dec 16 $46,990 (6m) $48,990 (6dc) 11112

I4/2.0T

Golf R May 16 $52,740 (6m) $55,240 (6dc)

14.9

6.1

An even better BFYB proposition in its new form; price New electric steering loses out to the old hydraulic system

6.37 14.58

11.3*

More refined and sharper to drive than ever Conservative looks; can’t disable ESP; traction issues

1364 124

6.80 14.90

6.6

Tricky diff, bigger brakes and more power prove deadly No manual or ESC off douses potential as a true drivers’ car

195/6600 350/1700 front

1357 144

6.00 14.00

With overboost, trick-diff and ESC-off, this GTI rules all others RS Megane probably just as effective

I4/2.0T

206/6200 380/1800 all

1435 144

4.95* 13.24* 10.4*

$58,990 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

206/6200 380/1800 all

1509 137

5.2

Scirocco R Sep 12 $45,990 (6m) $48,490 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

188/6000 330/2500 front

1351

Passat 206TSI

$57,990 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

206/6500 380/1700 all

Passat 206TSI wagon

$59,990 (6dc)

I4/2.0T

CC V6 FSI

$67,990 (6dc)

V6/3.6

11112

11113

11112

Golf R Wagon

Extra practicality for little pace penalty; sounds angrier Another 70kg isn’t ideal; no manual option

6.30 14.19

8.1

More agile and much better looking than a Golf R Driving it really hard exposes a few chinks in its armour

1589 130

5.5

7.3

Spiritual successor to R36 a sharp looker, decent steer By no means a performance star

206/6500 380/1700 all

1639 127

5.7

7.4

Extended hatch lends practical appeal to Q-car package Light footed Golf R wagon’s far more tantalising

220/6600 350/2400 all

1657 133

5.5

9.7

Six-pot CC pretty much like a Merc CLS for third of the price Lack of rear headroom and rear seat access

139

11123 11133 11133 11133

www.volvocars.com.au

Volvo 11133

$50,990 (6a)

Faster and easier than ever before; beefy engine note Lacks some visual flair; not a lot else

7.1

11113

V40 T5 R-Design Jul 15

DROP TOPS OVER

I4/2.0T

180/5400 360/1800 front

1468 127

6.91 15.02

8.1

$150K 1

Dual electric motors provide head-smashing acceleration Needs the infrastructure to support it; a bit odd to drive

www.toyota.com.au

Toyota 11233

TOP 3

www.suzuki.com.au

Suzuki Swift Sport Sep 12 $24,990 (6m) $26,490 (cvt)

RANGE ROVER – VOLVO

PROS & CONS

FUEL CONS

0-400M

0-100 KM/H

KW/TONNE

KERB KG

DRIVE

NM/RPM

KW/RPM

ENGINE

PRICE

TESTED

MODEL

Australia’s Ultimate New Car Comparison Site whichcar.com.au

Punchy four pot; pleasing dynamics; looks Heavy; firm ride; cramped rear room

$409 888 $409,888 A fine Italian cruiser ND

Merc-AMG SL63 $368,715 Roofless thunder

3

RD

Jaguar F-Type V8 R $247795 $247,795 Snarling, intoxicating V8


Final Nine

by

M O T O R S TA F F

Weird world of fast cars

Motor show specials that deserved to make the jump to reality

1

AUDI AVUS

Audi could have built an R8 15 years earlier, but sadly the (1991) Avus remained a one-off. It’s an important car, though, as its aluminium construction made it into the A8 in 1994 and the 6.0-litre W12 eventually popped up at Bentley 10 years later.

4

SHELBY COBRA

In the early-2000s the world was retro mad and Ford got on the bandwagon by producing a new GT supercar. This provided the platform for the 2004 Cobra Concept, powered by a 481kW 6.4-litre V10. Shut up and take our money.

7

LAMBORGHINI MIURA

Lamborghini now has a history of producing tiny numbers of its concept cars for sale, but sadly the 2006 Miura wasn’t one of them. Powered by a transverselymounted Aventador V12, the Miura would have had collectors queueing in the rain.

2

BMW M1 HOMMAGE

Okay, so the 2008 M1 Hommage kind of made production in the form of the radical i8, but we can’t help salivating over the concept of a mid-engine BMW supercar with the mighty 441kW 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 from the latest M5/M6.

5

PEUGEOT 907

Peugeot probably brings to mind small front-drive hot hatches rather than 375kW V12-powered grand tourers, but the 2004 907 proved Peugeot has the know-how. Those gorgeous exposed intake trumpets! Think of it as a French Ferrari 550.

8

BENTLEY HUNAUDIERES

Why didn’t Bentley build this stunner? Because VW bought Bugatti and turned it into the Veyron. Named after Le Mans’ famous straight, the 1999 Hunaudieres’ 8.0-litre W16 would grow four turbos and go on to power the world’s fastest car.

3

NISSAN iDX NISMO

Sadly, the business case didn’t stack up on producing the (2013) iDX, but if we were Nissan we would’ve fudged the numbers and done it anyway. A lightweight, reardrive, turbocharged coupe would’ve been the perfect antidote to its fleet of SUVs.

6

AUDI QUATTRO

Coulda, woulda, shoulda, didn’t. Audi got close to green-lighting the 2013, 515kW twin-turbo V8 hybrid Quattro for production, built on the latest MLB evo platform (think new A4/A5/A8) but in the end the bean counters won the day.

9

CADILLAC SIXTEEN

Bold, brash, ostentatious, the mighty 2003 13.6-litre V16 Sixteen was everything a Cadillac should be. Production was considered, but it would’ve cost a fortune, so billionaire Americans were forced to buy Maybachs and Phantoms instead.

NEXT ISSUE OF MOTOR IS ON SALE DECEMBER 22. Performance cars coming in 2017. SEMA’s hits and misses. AMG GT R first encounter.

146

the annual 201 6 motormag.com . au


PURCHASE ANY LEATHERMAN PRODUCT BEFORE DECEMBER 31ST, 2016 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A GETAWAY WORTH $10,000! *Total Prize Pool is $10,000. Valid from 1st October 2016 until 31st December 2016. A random prize draw will occur 2:00 PM AEST on the 13th January 2017 at the promoters address. Winners will be notiďŹ ed via email no later than the 13th January 2017. Promoter: Zen Imports Pty Ltd, ABN: 62002764552, Unit 8/7-9 Rhodes Street, West Ryde, NSW, 2114. Authorised under permit no. NSW: LTPS/16/06660. ACT: TP 16/01651.1 SA: T16/1482.


STRENGTH TO TAKE ON BATHURST STEVE RICHARDS, MARK SKAIFE, RUSSELL INGALL AND TONY LONGHURST. 16 COMBINED BATHURST VICTORIES.

TO TAKE ON BATHURST YOU NEED AN OIL THAT’S TITANIUM STRONG. TEAM SRM CHOOSE CASTROL EDGE FOR THEIR BMW M6 GT3.

“THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO KNOW HOW TO WIN BATHURSTT AND ARE VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT RACING.” - RUSSELL INGALL CastrolRacingAU

castroledge.com.au

@CastrolRacingAU

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Motor australia the annual 2016